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what is judaism

            What is Judaism? The answer depends on who you ask. Many of the differences within Judaism result from conflicting interpretations by scholars or rabbis. To fully understand Judaism, you must at least appreciate the history of the Jewish people, its importance to Western civilizations, as well as the role of the Torah as a basis of the religion. "Judaism is rational, logical and moral. It is not a creed but a way of life. It demands righteous living, not the acceptance of dogmas .
             "There is no doubt about the history of the Jewish people and that Judaism is one of the world's oldest continuing religious traditions."" To gain knowledge of Judaism, you must first have knowledge of its roots.
             The story of Abraham is central to the roots of Judaism. Believing he had had a message from God, Abraham left his homeland and pagan beliefs behind and began to lead the chosen people to the Promised Land - the land of Canaan "which is now known as the State of Israel, which is named after Abraham's grandson, who is the ancestor of the Jewish people-. The terms we use today are still connected to Abraham. The term "Hebrews- which we first used to refer to the Jewish people is the description of Abraham in the Torah. Abraham's son Jacob, who took the name Israel after dreaming about fighting an angel of God and winning, reminds us that Jews are truly children of Israel. And the term Jew is from Judah, Abraham's great grandson, one of Jacob's twelve illustrious sons.
             The Jews were consistently surrounded by larger, more powerful neighbors, and so often found themselves in exile or subjugation. Yet their faith and culture continually sustained each other. A perfect example is the Exodus from Egypt. Moses led the Hebrews from Egyptian bondage towards the promised land of Canaan. Wandering the desert for 40 years strengthened their faith and determination. Moses brought them God's Ten Commandments to prove that, if they followed God's will, His promise would be kept.

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