Religious Studies » Judaism Beliefs and Practices


Beliefs, Teachings and Practices

Key Words

Tenakh - main sacred Jewish text.

Talmud - collection of teachings and record of originally spoken discussions between Torah scholars.

Orthodox Jews - believe that the Torah and Talmud are of divine origin.

Progressive Jews - believe that the Torah and Talmud are people's interpretation of God's word. There are two main movements of Progressive Jews:

  • Reform Judaism - a mix of new and old traditions.
  • Liberal Judaism - similar to Reform Judaism but more radical.

Shekhinah - is God's presence on earth.

Covenant - a formal agreement between two or more people.

Mitzvot - Jewish laws.

Pikuach nefesh - the principle of saving a life, even it it means breaking mitzvot.

Tzedakah - the practice of giving 10% of your weath to charity.

Messiah - an inspirational leader.

Synagogue - a Jewish place of worship. They all have the following features:

  • Aron Hakodesh (the Ark) - a large cupboard on the wall facing Jerusalem.
  • Sefer Torah (Scroll of the Torah) - a parechment scroll kept inside the ark.
  • Ner Tamid (Perpetual Light) - a light above the ark which never goes out.
  • Bimah or Almemar - raised platform with a reading desk.



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Bitesize: Key beliefs
Bitesize: Covenant and mitzvot
Bitesize: Practices

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