What is Judaism?

What can you remember?

Write down any information you already have about the religion. 

Judaism is the oldest of the worlds four monotheistic religions. 

Do you know what this word means?

Monotheistic: relating to or characterized by the belief that there is only one God.

Where does Judaism originate from?

It originated in Israel 4000 years ago. Jewish people believe that there is only one God and he created the universe.

What do Jewish people believe?

Jewish believe they have a special agreement with God called a covenant. Jews promise to obey God’s laws to say thank you to him for looking after them.


Jews believe a man called Abraham was the first person to make a covenant with God. Abraham was a Hebrew. Jews believe God named Abraham’s grandson Israel. After this, the Hebrews became known as the Israelites. Abraham is considered the father of the Jewish people and the Israelites are his descendants.

What is the Jewish holy book?

The Jewish holy book is known as the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible. The word Tanakh comes from the first letters of the three different parts of the book:

  • The Torah (T) which is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. The Christian Bible also begins with these books, in the part which Christians call the Old Testament.
  • The Nevi’im (N) which are the books of the Jewish prophets such as Joshua and Isaiah.
  • Ketuvim (K) which is a collection of other important writings.
  • The Torah has 613 commandments which are called mitzvah. They are the rules that Jews try to follow. The most important ones are the Ten Commandments given to Moses.

The Torah is so special that people are not allowed to touch it. It is kept in a safe place called an ark in the Jewish temple and when people read from the Torah, they use a special pointer stick called a Yad to follow the words.

Test your knowledge.

  1. What is the difference between the Tanakh and the Torah? 
  2. What does the word Mitzvah mean?
  3. What is a covenant?
  4. Who is Abraham?
  5. When and when did the religion originate?
  6. What is a Menorah?
  7. What is the Star of David?
  8. What is the Mezuzah kept inside? Why is it hung from the door?
  9. What is a Synagogue?