What does Judaism mean to you
A Jew with the white taleth, the prayer shawl, reading aloud during the service. Next to it is the menorah, the seven-armed candlestick. For the Jews it is the symbol of the temple, God's presence and eternal life. (& copy picture-alliance / dpa)
A world religionJudaism is one of the five great world religions. It originated about 2000 years before Christ. Worldwide over 14 million people belong to Judaism. Among the world religions that worship only one god (these are the so-called monotheistic religions), Judaism is the oldest. Christianity and Islam developed from it.
Jewish religionThe Jews believe in a God whom they call Yahweh. He is revered as the creator of the world. The most important scriptures are the Tanach (the Old Testament) and the Talmud (the collection of laws and religious traditions). The house of worship of the Jews is called the synagogue. It is important for believing Jews to observe religious laws. This particularly includes respect for the Sabbath. This is the weekly feast day that starts on Friday evening and lasts until Saturday evening. The Jews have their own calendar and religious holidays.
The Jewish synagogue in Hamburg. Synagogues are the names of the prayer houses of the Jews. (& copy dpa)
Jewish people"Judaism" initially means the religion of the Jewish people. This term also describes the community of all people, the Jewish people belong. According to religious tradition, a Jew is someone who has a Jewish mother. But it is also possible to accept Judaism.
Persecution and DiasporaIn their long history, the Jews have been persecuted and driven out time and again. After the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Romans in AD 70, they lived all over the world in the diaspora. Again and again they were forcibly evicted from the places where they lived. During the Nazi era, Jews were persecuted in Germany and in the German-occupied countries of Europe, and 6 million Jews were murdered during the Holocaust.
The State of IsraelAfter the Second World War, the State of Israel was established as a Jewish state. Today about half of all Jews live there. Around 250,000 Jews live in Germany today.
Source: Gerd Schneider / Christiane Toyka-Seid: The young politics encyclopedia from www.hanisauland.de, Bonn: Federal Agency for Civic Education 2021.
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