Judaism: beliefs and teachings


the nature of God

- the belief of God as one is expressed as shema. an important Jewish prayer

God as one:

  • source of jewish moraility,beliefs and values
  • God is a single, whole indivsible being
  • everything in the universe has been created and sustained by this one God

scripture reference: deuteronomy 6:4-5

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nature of God: as creator

many orthodox and ultra- orthodox Jews believe the events happened about 6000 years ago, they reject scientific evolution

other Jews interpret the Genesis creation story less literally. They stil believe God is the creator of everything byt accept the universe is much older and life has evolved over may years.

jews believe God created and sustains the universe, he also provides all rescources needed for life

evil and free will

God gave people free will because he wants people to be able to choose to good. this makes the act of doing good more significant

but in order to excercise free will, there must be a choice between good and bad

isiah 45:6

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the nature of God: God as lawgiver and judge and d

613 laws in torah teach people to behave. known as mitzot

first 10 mitzvots are the 10 commandments which God gave to moses directly

Jews believe God judges them for how well they follow these laws. God's judgement is considered to be fair and tempered by his loving, merciful nature.

rosh hashanah- God judges people for their actions in the past year

isiah 6:1-2

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life after death,judgement and resurrection

Jews are not too concerned with the afterlife. they think it is important to focus on the present and live in a way that is pleasing to God.

The jewish holy books don't contain my information about afterlife so it leads to differences among Jews.

many Jews believe if they follow their faith correctly they will go heaven or sheol when they die

some Jews believe people that do not enter heaven go to sheol

some Jews believe they will be judge by God as soon as they die. supported by eccelesiastes 1:27

other believe, God will jusge everyone on the Day of judgement

daniel 12:2

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nature and role of the messiah

the future messiah will:

  • bring peace and unite humanity together
  • rebuild the temple and gather all Jews back to Isarel
  • rule over humanity with kindness and justice

Jews don't believe Jesus was the messiah because they believe thar he didn't fufil the expectations that Jews have for the messiah

1 samuel 10:1

the word messiah is used to refer to the future leader of the Jews

this leader is expected to be the future king of isarel- a descendant of saul's successor, king david

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the promised land and the covenant with abraham

the promised land, is the land of canaan which God promised to Abraham and the Jews

genesis 12:1-2

Jews believe the covenants are still binding today

God promised to make abraham the father of many nations

the convenant was sealed through circumsions of himself and the males in the household

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the convenant at sinai and the 10 commandments

the 10 commandments form the foundation of the Jewis law

the 10 commandments form the basis of the covenant at sinai. (covenant between God and Jews)

the 10 commandments give Jews important guidance on how to havea good relationship with God and with each other to create a peaceful society

exodus 20:2-14

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key principles in judaism

Justice- bringing about what is right and fair according to the law or making up for a wrong decesion

  • Jews believe the torah and the prohets were sent by God to help people understand how to bring about justice
  • they laws in the torah give guidance to Jews on how to treat the poor and vunerable to achieve justice

healing of the world is an important concept in Judaismm which involves taking actions to help God's work in sustaining the world

  • some Jews believe healing the world involves more than charity, they believe by obeying the mitzvot and trying to become closer to God
  • many Jews help to heal the world by helping to protect the environment eg might volunteer for charity

kindness to others

leviticus 19:18

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sancity of life

sancity of life- refers to the idea that life is sacred and holy because it has been created by God

  • for Jews the sancity of life means they shouldn't do anything to quicken a person's natural death eg. murder and euthanisa is wrong
  • some Jews think a sick patient should be kept alive at all cost while others think a patients death shouldn't be prolonged if there in great pain

saving a life- a belief in the sancity of life is behind the concept of pikuach nefesh

pikuach nefesh emphasises how vunerable human life is as it puts human life above jewis law

Jews are obliged to save a person's life if they can even if makes breaking the jewish law

sahedrin 4:5

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free will and mitzvot

Jews believe God has given them free will to make their own choiced but this doesn't mean people can do what they like without consequences

  • good actions lead to a life of fulfilment. they bring jews closer to God and ensure they are favoured by him
  • bad actions will not bring people closer to God, in life or after death

genesis 3- adam and eve using their free will to disobey God 

the mitzvot give guidance to Jews on how to use their free will correctly.

Jews believe as the mitzvot in the torah came directly from God so following them carefully makes it impossible to disobey God

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