Judaism is the oldest monotheistic religion in the world, having originated in the Middle East more than 3,000 years ago with patriarch Abraham.

As the first Abrahamic religion, Judaism has played a major role in shaping the history of the world, having greatly influenced the development of Christianity and Islam, despite having always had a relatively small amount of adherents by comparison.

The religion itself is built off of the "written Torah" of the Bible, known in Judaism as the Tanach, and the "oral Torah" of the Mishna, Talmud and other great works of leading rabbis throughout history.

Judaism itself has no single leading figure, and is divided into multiple streams, such as the ultra-Orthodox (haredi), Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. Further differences also exist along the lines of historic Diasporic communities, such as Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewry.

Today, the largest concentration of adherents of Judaism can be found in Israel, with the US having the second-largest.

Read More

WATCH: Over 50,000 Jewish worshipers gather for Birkat Kohanim at Western Wall

The tradition of conducting a mass event for the blessing has been a highlight of the week-long Sukkot and Passover holidays.

Saudi Arabia puts ancient Torah on display at local book fair

The text explaining about the scroll did not mention its origins.

'Detached from Israel, Zionism': National Library swaps logo amid public fury

The library announced the change to its logo on Wednesday from the original, which featured a minimalist rendition of a book in the colors of the Israeli flag.

Israeli man attempts to sacrifice sheep on Temple Mount

A religious organization vowed that sacrifices would resume soon and the Third Temple would be built on the Temple Mount.

Israel is fighting a holy war on Judaism, ultra-Orthodox leader claims

MK Moshe Gafni launches a scathing attack on Israeli economists: 'Their war is not socio-economic or security-related, it's a war on religion.'

During Hol Hamoed, the best of Israel is on display - editorial

The fact that so many Israelis are out exploring every facet of the country during Hol Hamoed is proof that Israelis realize they are living amid treasures to be enjoyed and savored.

Are battles between secular and religious Israelis the new normal?

RELIGIOUS AFFAIRS: Many Israeli governments have collapsed because of issues of religion and state. Can Israel's most religious government to date survive?


The Talmud is important, but no one should be paid to study it - opinion

It is rage-inducing to know that my money gets spent on stipends for boys in black hats to study for lifetimes issues like how certain physical attributes can be used as grounds for divorce.

Yiddish book center unveils new core exhibit

How do you tell the story of a language without a country, and of a culture that lost a majority of its purveyors in a little over a decade of madness?


Sukkot is a holiday of homecoming and homelessness

What does it mean, for a person or a people or a species, to lose home or to come home?  What exactly is lost when you lose home and what is gained when you recover it?

Subscribe for our daily newsletter
Subscribe for our daily newsletter

By subscribing I accept the terms of use and privacy policy