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Judaism

The entrance to the walled city of Old Jerusalem
Jews gather to pray at the Wailing Wall

 

The Jewish traditions trace their origins to Abraham (c. 2000BCE). The Shema or basic affirmation of the Jewish Way is "Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One." Every Jew should recite the Shema morning and evening. Much of Jewish life centered around the Temple, first built by Solomon (c.950BCE). The rebuilt Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70CE. In the second and third centuries CE, Rabbinic Judaism emerged as guidance for living the Torah. The writings/commentaries/stories to interpret the full Torah (oral and written) came together in the Talmud. Today there are orthodox, conservative, reform and reconstructionist Jews. Though a small community, under 2% of the believing world, the Jewish community has been immensely influential. The modern State of Israel was established in 1948.

 

The Sea of Galilee and Golan Heights in Northern Israel
Judean Hills and desert between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea