SOR1 - Principle Beliefs of Judaism

Belief in One God

  • One God who is the Creator and Ruler of the Universe
  • Most fundamental Jewish belief
  • God is known as YHWH (Yahweh)
  • This belief forms the center of the Shema Prayer:
    • “Hear O Israel, God is Our God, God the One and Only” (Deuteronomy 6:4)
  • G-d is both Transcendent and Immanent:
    • Transcendent: G-d is intangible/not of physical form
    • Immanent: G-d interacts with people’s lives through the Covenant
  • G-d is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient (G-d is everywhere, knows everything and is all-powerful)
  • G-d is referred to as Anthropomorphic in the TaNaKh. While G-d is canonically intangible, many sections of the TaNaKh seem to imply that G-d has a physical form, such as Genesis 2, where G-d “breathed into his (Adam’s) nostrils the breath of life.”

Divinely Inspired Moral law

  • Laws given by G-d to guide Jews in ethics and morality
  • The belief that G-d has provided Jewish Adherents with a code of ethics to guide them in their daily decisions
  • Jews are encouraged to study the Torah in order to understand G-d’s teachings
  • Binds Jews to G-d
  • Also known as MITZVOT
    • 248 do’s
    • 365 don’ts
    • Covers all aspects of life as a Jew (marriage, Shabbat, Passover, Sabbath)
    VariantBeliefs around the Mitzvot/Divinely Inspired Moral Law
    Orthodox- The moral code laid down by G-d is complete and non-evolving in its application to all situations for the past, present and future.
    - The main role of Talmudic scholars and halakhic lawyers is to find the exact authority within the text to justify behaviour for the case at hand.
    Conservative- The Written Torah is open to some re-interpretation in light of changing circumstances as the text does not represent the literal word of God.
    Progressive- Place greater emphasis on the broad principles established in the moral to guide ethical decision making in new situations.

The Covenant

  • A promise from G-d to the Jewish people in exchange for certain obligations
  • Affirms the unique relationship between G-d and the Jewish people
  • Halachah: Jewish Law
    • The covenant is a legal requirement for Jews. By breaking the Laws, you abandon toe Covenant
  • Example: Noahic Covenant
    • Obligation: Noah and his family were called to live in G-d’s image and walk His path by caring for all of Creation
    • Privilege: G-d promised to save Noah’s family from the Flood
    • Sign of the Covenant: the Rainbow
Pranav Sharma
Pranav Sharma
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UNSW Student, site owner and developer.