Kelly has taught fifth grade language arts and adult ESL. She has a master's degree in education and a graduate certificate in TESOL.
Many Different Religions
When I was in 5th grade, I attended a private school that taught about a religion that was not my own. The other kids thought I was strange because I did not share their religion.
The truth is, people believe all different things about God. This is the reason there are thousands of religions in the word. It is important to understand different religions because it helps us to understand and respect other people.
Different religions share common beliefs about God and the best way for people to live. In this lesson, we're going to learn about the religion known as Judaism. There are nearly 14,000,000 people who practice this religion in our world today.
Judaism and the Jewish People
Those who practice Judaism are sometimes called Jewish. There is a difference between Judaism and the Jewish people, though. Jewish people have common ancestors, but they do not always follow the teachings of Judaism. However, many Jewish people do practice Judaism.
The Teachings of Judaism
- There is only one God.
- Following God's laws is important. These laws tell people how to live in ways that do not hurt themselves or others.
- Judaism's holy books include 39 books of the Bible (sometimes called the Old Testament) and the Talmud. These books give the laws and traditions of the religion. They also tell stories about famous people from Judaism's history. (Abraham and Moses are two you might have heard about.)
- Those who follow Judaism believe that God promised the Jewish people the country of Israel. This is why some people call Israel the Holy Land.
- Judaism has rules about the kinds of food people eat. These foods are called kosher. Foods that are not kosher (shrimp and pork, for example) should not be eaten.
- It is important to take a day of rest every week. This is called the Sabbath, and it begins at sundown on Friday and lasts until sundown on Saturday.
Traditions, Terms, and Symbols
- Religious teachers and leaders in Judaism are called rabbis.
- People meet in synagogues to worship.
- The Star of David is a common symbol for Judaism.
- At the age of 13 (for boys) and 12 (for girls), children celebrate either their Bar Mitzvah (for boys) or Bat Mitzvah (for girls). They read from the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and celebrate with a big party. This celebration shows that they are now entering adulthood and can choose to follow the teachings of Judaism.
- Judaism has many special holidays celebrating events in the history of the religion. Some examples include Hanukah, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, and Purim. You might have seen these holiday names on a calendar.
Judaism is one of many religions practiced in the world today. It teaches that there is only one true God, and it is important to honor this God in everyday life. Its main teachings can be found in certain books of the Bible and a book called the Talmud.
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