Many Jews see Judaism as a way of life rather than a set of beliefs. The essentials of their faith are derived from the Bible. God has made a ‘covenant’ (solemn agreement) with the Jews.
1. Judaism takes the existence of God as granted and offers no proof. He is present everywhere and is eternal.
2. The nearest statement of faith is the SHEMA – declaring that:
* God is one
* His name is Jehovah (Yahweh) – a spiritual being beyond human ability to name.
* God is Unique – He is separate from all other beings.
1. God created the first human in his image. The image is that of a spiritual quality that makes every human unique.
2. Body & Spirit – Life is a union of the two. God breathed his spirit in to us and we became ‘a living soul’.
3. The status of humans is described as ‘being a little lower than the angels’.
4. Humans are given dominion in the world and the status of representing him before the world.
5. Individual & Community – Everyone is part of the social ‘whole’. The activities of Judaism are notably communal. God is a God of the people and every individual belongs to the people.
THE NATURAL WORLD
1. It is God’s creation – he controls and acts within it. Nature is God’s gift and its resources can be used for the benefit of mankind.
2. The Hasidic movement in the 18thC preached that Jews should immerse themselves in the natural world as salvation was for the whole of creation and the whole of life, physical, spiritual & moral.
3. Zionists believe by acting in the right way in the present, humankind can help forward the process of salvation.