Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life


Judaism is a religious tradition centered on the idea of a covenant between God and the Jewish people that can be traced back to the prophets Abraham and Moses. The Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and an extensive interpretative literature (Mishnah and Talmud) outline the laws and practices that provide a basis for the different contemporary currents of Judaism, including Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform. Judaism is the oldest of the Abrahamic faiths and the smallest of the world’s major religions, with around 15 million adherents. The United States and Israel have the largest Jewish populations, together accounting for about 75 percent of the worldwide total. Israel, the world’s only Jewish-majority state, has been in conflict with Palestinians and the Arab states that surround it for most of its history since its founding in 1948.
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