What Is Judaism and Torah? The granddaddy of Christianity and Islam!

by birtanpublished on July 9, 2020

Judaism, at 4000 years old it is one of theoldest monotheistic religions and the granddaddyof Christianity and Islam But even thoughits teachings helped create the world’stwo most popular religions many people don’tknow what the Jews actually believe Whatis the Torah? What’s a Covenant? And whydoes no one worship mermen in the Middle-Eastanymore? Well, Let’s Find outJudaism developed here in the eastern Mediterraneanover the last 4000ish years Today there areabout 15 million Jews making it the world’stenth largest religion

Right, let’s jump straight into their Beliefs1 The TanakhTanakh is the Hebrew name for the Hebrew Bible,known to most English speakers as the OldTestament But obviously, they don’t callit that since they don’t recognise any NewTestamentThe Tanakh is actually a trilogy and the wordTanakh is made up of the names of the 3 sections

Of the Hebrew BibleT: for TorahN: for Nevi’imand K: for KetuvimThe first section, the Torah, is the mostsacred book of the Jewish PeopleThe Torah consists of five books shown hereand is sometimes called the Five Books ofMoses Let's summarise this very long andvery sacred holy book in a few paragraphs,

It should be easy!In the beginning, God creates the world insix days and then has a deserved rest on theseventh Later on, God starts talking to aguy named Abraham The Hebrew He tells Abrahamto leave his home in Mesopotamia and go toa land called Canaan, which is hereGod makes a deal or covenant with Abraham,promising "I will make of thee a great nation" and offers "the whole land of Canaan" tohim and his descendants To seal this special

Covenant God said unto Abraham “Every manchild among you shall be circumcised” andAbraham was like we’re going to do whatnow! “ye shall circumcise the flesh of yourforeskin, and it shall be a token of the covenantbetwixt me and you”Circumcision was a symbol literally “cutinto the flesh” of the Jewish People toshow their covenant with God And has beendone by every Jewish male for thousands ofyears The Covenant is extremely importantin Judaism

Later Abraham's grandson called Jacob literallywrestles with God or an angel of some sortfor an entire night So from then on, Jacobwould be called Israel "one that struggleswith God"Jacob/Israel has twelve sons and their descendantswould become known as the Children of Israelor Israelites and give their name to the landof Canaan now known as IsraelThe Children of Israel would be enslaved inEgypt But then one of them called Moses would

Under God's guidance lead the Israelites outof EgyptMoses and his people arrive at Mount SinaiHere God gives Moses the entire Torah whichcontains 613 Mitzvah or commandments the mostfamous of which is the 10 Commandments writtenon stone tabletsThis new Covenant requires Jews to worshiponly this God, and to follow His commandmentsIn return, God will bless the Jewish peopleand make them a holy nation living in the

Promised LandThe Israelites eventually form a kingdom andone of their kings, Solomon builds a HolyTemple in Jerusalem, which houses the Arkof the Covenant and becomes the sacred heartof Jewish worshipIronically enough Solomon’s kingdom wouldcut itself in two Israel, populated by 10tribes descended from the sons of Jacob inthe north and Judah populated by the other

2 tribes, primarily the Judah in the southIn 722 BCE the Assyrians conquered Israel,leaving Judah as the sole surviving JewishkingdomThis is why this guy, Judah, a random sonof Jacob, not even the one with the dazzlingcoat of many colours, gave the religion ofJudaism and the Jews their nameIn 586 BCE the Babylonians conquered Judah,demolished the Holy Temple, and sent the people

Into exile and slavery in Babylon The destructionof the Holy Temple and Babylonian exile isa heartbreaking historical event for JewishpeopleBut then in 539 BCE along came Cyrus The Greatwith his big Persian army and cool hat Hewrecks the Babylonians, frees the Jews, andrebuilds the Holy TempleThat concludes our retelling of the TanakhIt is foundational to all Jewish belief andmy summary barely scratches the surface Youcan read more by checking out links in the

Description or waiting until I make a videosolely about itIn 70 CE the Romans destroyed the Holy Temple…again, and sent the people into anotherexile The Jews moved out across Europe, NorthAfrica, and the Middle East forming a diasporathat periodically suffered persecutions, pogroms,and genocides from their neighboursThis 2000ish year exile is considered to havelasted up until 1947 with the partitioningof Palestine and the creation of the modernState of Israel in 1948

Now that was a very brief summary of 2000years of complex history, please bear thatin mind2 GodSo Abraham lived in a world that believedin many many gods You had your Marduks, yourNergals, you even had Dagans, everyone lovesDagan, look at him the fancy mermanBut Abraham believed in One God An eternal,all-powerful, all-knowing creator of the universe,

And the source of morality He has no children,rivals, or equalsThis is known as monotheism and Judaism wouldspread this concept across the ancient worldacting as an origin for both Christianityand Islam Nearly everyone in this regionfollows a monotheistic religion and mermanworship has dropped significantlyThe names of God used most often in the Tanachare Elohim and the Tetragrammaton, which ishonestly one of the coolest words ever TheTetragrammaton is the letters YHWH

The actual pronunciation YHWH was lost thousandsof years ago Today it is sometimes pronouncedas Yahweh But many Orthodox Jew will notsay this name out loud and will say HaShem,“the name” or Adonai "My Lord” insteadMany Orthodox Jews won't even write wordslike God down, as a sign of respect and willuse something like G-D insteadThe Jewish God also takes an active interestin human affairs and interacts with humans

On EarthHumans can develop a personal relationshipwith God God granted humanity freewill sothey, like Jacob, can “wrestle with God”(Genesis 32:29), to find and relate to Godin their own personal way3The World To ComeThe Hebrew Bible barely mentions heaven orhell Heaven is just where God lives

It mentions a place called Sheol, but it’sjust a vague underworld where souls go afterdeathBut the Bible does make it certain that thesoul lives on after you die When Abrahamdies, for example, the Bible says he "breathedhis last, dying at a good, ripe age, old andcontent, and he was gathered to his people”The Bible describes a bunch of different charactersbeing gathered to their people and sinnersbeing cut off from their people So while

The body returns to the earth the human soulgoes somewhere to live on with their ancestorsJews accept that they do not know what theafterlife will be like or what it’s rewardingwill be, but think that it will be based onthe kind of life they have lived So theytry to follow God's path and commandmentsas closely as possible because even if theydon’t know what afterlife rewards that maybring they are certain it will improve thecurrent world

Many Jews try to act with Tzedakah or Justiceor charityTzedakah comes from the Torah which says “thoushalt not wholly reap the corners of thy fieldneither shalt thou gather every grape of thyvineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poorand stranger” Today many Jews donate 10%of their income to the needy as part of Tzedakah4MessiahMany Jews today and in the past have hopedfor the coming of a masheach or messiah Who

Is prophesied in the TanakhThe Messiah is a Jewish leader that will bringabout the Messianic Era They will rebuildthe Holy Temple in Jerusalem and bring allthe Jews back into the Promised Land Whichwill bring about the perfection of the worldand an end to all hunger, war, and sufferingWhen the Messiah comes, every Jew who everlived will be literally resurrected Theywill return to Jerusalem to be present whenGod creates a new heaven on Earth

This is why Jewish law states Jews must beburied with any amputated limbs lost in lifeJewish law also forbids cremation To keepthe physical body intact for when it is resurrectedby God after the arrival of the MessiahFor Jews, the Messiah has obviously not yetarrived because there is still suffering andinequality in the world5The Talmud

We already looked at the Tanakh but anotherbook is also extremely important to the JewsThe TalmudThe Talmud is a collection of different booksand is over 10 million words long and covers38 volumesIt is a massive collection of commentary onthe Torah and on itself on how the Torah orit’s commandments should be interpretedIt's filled with debate, legal interpretations,

History, ethics, philosophy, and legendsWithin a few lines you can see rabbis thatlived centuries apart debating a topic inthe Talmud, it’s extremely interestingIt provides the foundation for Jewish lawand is a guidebook for Jewish lifeTHE JEWISH PEOPLEJudaism is more than a religion It is alsoa people, nation, culture, and civilisationbut not a race

There are black, asian, and white Jews Thereare people born Jewish as well as convertsAtheist, Agnostic, and a buffet of differinglevels of religious JewsAccording to Jewish law a Jew is a child bornof a Jewish mother, or a person who convertsto Judaism Some Jewish denominations nowaccept descent through the father tooSince the Medieval Period, there have beentwo major groups of the Jewish People Ashkenazi,Sephardi

• The Ashkenazi are the Jewish communitythat developed in Central and Eastern EuropeThey speak Yiddish, a combination of Hebrewand the languages of Central Europe Yiddishwords like bupkis, chutzpah, and klutz arefamiliar in English speaking pop culture becausemost Jewish immigrants in the United Stateswere Ashkenazi• The Sephardi Jews are descendants of theJews of Spain, and those who fled from Spainto other Mediterranean countries and NorthAfrica

They have their own language, Ladino, a combinationof Hebrew and Old Spanish But unfortunately,this language is under serious threat of extinction• There are communities of Jews who do notfall into these two groups such as the Jewsof Iran and Iraq, Yemen, Ethiopia, China,and Georgia among many othersAll these different groups make up a diverserange of Jewish beliefs and culturesWhat many Americans and Europeans think ofas Jewish culture or Jewish food is really

Ashkenazi culture and Central and EasternEuropean food, adapted to Jewish kosher lawsAn Ashkenazi will eat Schmaltz herring whilea Sephardi prefers couscous An Ashkenaziwill celebrate with a glass of schnapps, aSephardi will go for some Arak Ashkenaziscalled Saturday, Shah-bos, Sephardis say shah-BATBefore the Second World War about 9 millionJews lived in Europe, 5 million in the Americas,800,000 in Asia, and 600,000 in Africa Justover 15 million in total

About Six million Jews were systematicallymurdered during the Shoah, the Jewish termfor the HolocaustThe emigration, expulsion, or exterminationof Jews from their old heartlands during the20th century has made North America and Israelhome to the majority of modern JewsToday there are many different denominationsof Jews Ranging from Jewish atheists to OrthodoxJews Orthodox Jews believe the Torah is thedirect word of God and they strictly follow

It's words and commandments The best knownOrthodox Jews are the Chasidic Jews, due totheir recognisable and distinct fashion, whichhas now been stolen by hipstersThere is also Reform, Conservative, and ReconstructionistJudaism who all cover a wide range of beliefsFrom not believing in a personal or supernaturalgod and thinking ritual and ceremony haveto no place in the modern world To beliefin God and the Torah but changing their interpretationof them as society evolves

SHABBATShabbat or the Sabbath or Saturday is the7th day of the Hebrew week and the most importantday for JewsSince God rested on the seventh day, Jewsdo the sameIt is a day of physical and spiritual rejuvenationJewish law prohibits work on the ShabbatActivities such as doing business, spendingmoney, shopping, housework, driving, using

Electricity, or even using the phone are discouragedWhile things like prayer or reading are encouragedKOSHERThe laws of Kosher regulate the Jewish DietWhat is Kosher? Well according to the Torahand Jewish lawAll vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts arekosherWhen it comes to meat a kosher animal is onethat both chews its cud and has a cloven hoof

Don't worry I didn't know what cud was eitherCud is a bit of food that an animal chewsthen swallows then vomits back into theirmouth and chews again Which is why some animalsappear to be chewing all the timeExamples of kosher animals are cattle andsheep While nonkosher animals include pigs,dogs, rabbits, and well humans actuallyKosher animals must also be killed in a certainway called shechita This method uses a trained

Professional with an incredibly sharp knifeto deliver quick deathFinally all blood must be drained from theanimal because blood isn’t kosherToday kosher food can be bought from koshershops or recognised by special kosher symbolson productsAll shellfish, birds of prey like eagles orowls, and fish without both fins and scaleslike shark, whale, and porpoise are not kosher

THE SYNAGOGUEFrom the destruction of the Second Templein 70 CE until today, the synagogue has beenthe centre of Jewish life and worshipIn every synagogue, you’ll find a handwrittenTorah Scroll Which is read aloud during servicesYou’ll also find a rabbi A rabbi is a trainedJewish scholar and interpreter of Jewish lawThey conduct many Jewish events, such as circumcisions,Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, and funerals

While there you may notice people wearinga kippah also known as yarmulka on their headsJudaism originated in the Middle East, wherea sign of respect to God is a covered headOrthodox Jews believe they are always in thepresence of God, so they wear a kippah atall times More liberal Jews wear a kippahsometimesYou might also notice that many Orthodox Jewhave long curly hair on the sides of theirhead These are called Payot and Orthdox Jewsdo not cut this hair because of a command

In the Torah that says “Ye shall not roundthe corners of your heads''You can learn more about Synagogues, the historyof the Jewish people, and more in the gorgeousdocumentary series Sacred Spaces, over onCuriosityStreamCuriosityStream is a documentary streamingservice that will give you access to thousandsof documentaries including some featuringtop names like David Attenborough and StephenHawking, along with exclusive originals Normallyyou’d get unlimited access starting at just

$299 a month and the first 30-days completelyfree if you sign up at curiositystreamcom/cogitoand use the promo code “cogito” duringthe sign-up process But during these toughtimes CuriosityStream is offering a 40% OffStay at Home Deal to help you pass time duringquarantineAnd by signing up to CuriosityStream you willbe helping me and the Youtube educationalcommunity, because CuriosityStream loves independentcreators and wants to help us grow, so they’re

Offering Cogito viewers free access to Nebulawhen you sign up at CuriosityStreamcom/cogitoNebula is a streaming video platform I’mhelping to build along with lots of otherindependent creators like TheLowSpecGamer,MiaMulder, and KnowingBetter along with abunch of othersNebula even hosts original content such asTom Scott’s new game show Money All ad-freeand earlier than Youtube This video was upon Nebula days agoSo go to curiositystreamcom/cogito and start

Enjoying amazing content on CuriosityStreamand Nebula today while helping to supporteducational creators without sitting throughadsSo those are the basics of Judaism It isn'teven close to covering everything I probablyonly covered about 1% One video simply can'tcover everything Religions are too diverse,too deep, and mean too many different thingsto different peopleThanks for watching and can find all the sourcesused in the description If you liked this

Content please subscribe If you are interestedin supporting the channel, there are linksfor Patreon and my t-shirt store also in thedescription If you liked this video I thinkyou’d really enjoy my videos on Hinduism,Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism Which you cansee on screen or linked in the description

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