My God - Judaism

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Norma Glass MBE has been conducting tours of the Swansea Synagogue for various groups over the last 20 years. Here she speaks about the core beliefs of being Jewish and the Jewish way of life in Wales.

Judaism is one of the oldest monotheistic religions and was founded over 3,500 years ago in the Middle East.

Jews believe that God appointed the Jews to be his chosen people in order to set an example of holiness and ethical behaviour to the world.

Judaism is the original of the three Abrahamic faiths, which also includes Christianity and Islam. According to information published by The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute, there were around 13.1 million Jewish people in the world in 2007, most residing in the USA and Israel. According to the 2001 census 267,000 people in the UK said that their religious identity was Jewish, about 0.5% of the population.

  • Judaism originated in the Middle East over 3,500 years ago
  • Judaism was founded by Moses, although Jews trace their history back to Abraham.
  • Jews believe that there is only one God with whom they have a covenant.
  • In exchange for all the good that God has done for the Jewish people, Jewish people keep God's laws and try to bring holiness into every aspect of their lives.
  • Judaism has a rich history of religious text, but the central and most important religious document is the Torah.
  • Jewish traditional or oral law, the interpretation of the laws of the Torah, is called halakhah.
  • Spiritual leaders are called Rabbis.
  • Jews worship in Synagogues.
  • 6 million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust in an attempt to wipe out Judaism.
  • There are many people who identify themselves as Jewish without necessarily believing in, or observing, any Jewish law.

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