The religion of Judaism encompasses the religion and traditions of the Jewish people. It is important to understand that a person can be a “Jew” without necessarily practicing the religion. The two are often intertwined, and Jews may think of Judaism as the expression of the covenantal relationship that God established with the children of Israel. [1]
Judaism has roughly 14.5 million adherents around the world, making it humanity’s 10th-largest religion. It is over 3,000 years old, and is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions (along with Zoroastrianism. It is debated which came first).

Judaism is an ancient monotheistic religion, with its primary text being the Torah. It is a precursor to Christianity, which branched from Judaism.
The texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization are very wide and their distinctions are important, as some aspects are exclusive.
Today, the largest forms of Judaism are Orthodox Judaism, Reform Judaism, and Conservative Judaism, which differ in their views of Jewish law, the Rabbinic tradition, and the significance of the state of Israel.

All Judaism begins with ethical monotheism: the belief that God is one and concerned with the actions of humankind.
While most people are aware of the 10 commandments, most Jews actually recognize 613 commandments from the Torah, detailing things one should do and not do in one’s life.
Here are the 10 commandments, said to have been dictated to Moses and inscribed on a stone tablet on Mount Sinai:

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

The most popular formulation of Judaism’s core tenets is Maimonides’ thirteen principles of faith. They sum up Jewish belief pretty well. They are as follows:

  1. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, is the Creator and Guide of everything that has been created; He alone has made, does make, and will make all things.
  2. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, is One, and that there is no unity in any manner like His, and that He alone is our God, who was, and is, and will be.
  3. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, has no body, and that He is free from all the properties of matter, and that there can be no (physical) comparison to Him whatsoever.
  4. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, is the first and the last.
  5. I believe with perfect faith that to the Creator, Blessed be His Name, and to Him alone, it is right to pray, and that it is not right to pray to any being besides Him.
  6. I believe with perfect faith that all the words of the prophets are true.
  7. I believe with perfect faith that the prophecy of Moses our teacher, peace be upon him, was true, and that he was the chief of the prophets, both those who preceded him and those who followed him.
  8. I believe with perfect faith that the entire Torah that is now in our possession is the same that was given to Moses our teacher, peace be upon him.
  9. I believe with perfect faith that this Torah will not be exchanged, and that there will never be any other Torah from the Creator, Blessed be His Name.
  10. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, knows all the deeds of human beings and all their thoughts, as it is written, “Who fashioned the hearts of them all, Who comprehends all their actions” (Psalms33:15).
  11. I believe with perfect faith that the Creator, Blessed be His Name, rewards those who keep His commandments and punishes those that transgress them.
  12. I believe with perfect faith in the coming of theMessiah; and even though he may tarry, nonetheless, I wait every day for his coming.
  13. I believe with perfect faith that there will be a revival of the dead at the time when it shall please the Creator, Blessed be His name, and His mention shall be exalted forever and ever. [2]

To really understand Judaism, one must understand a great deal of history and tradition. Use the resources we’ve gathered below to learn more.


The full Jewish Bible, and the full old testament of Christianity.

The five books of Moses and the primary sacred text of Judaism

One of the central texts of Rabbinic Judaism. “Talmud” translates literally to “Instruction” in Hebrew.

“A complete guide to beliefs, customs, and rituals.”

The complete guide to beliefs, traditions, and practice.

A guide to jewish observance in contemporary life.

“Rabbi Steinberg identifies seven strands that weave together to make up Judaism: God, morality, rite and custom, law, sacred literature, institutions, and the people. A classic work directed to both the Jewish and the non-Jewish reader.”

All the commandments which can be observed today, listed.

A quick look at the esoteric side of Judaism.

The only first-hand account of the holocaust by a Jew you need to read. It will bring you to tears.