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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Judaism

Around 1900 BC Abraham (d c1850) a rich farmer from Ur migrated to Haran, North Mesopotamia with his Father, Terah, his wife Sarah and his nephew Lot. Proceeding to Canaan he received God’s promise of the land to his descendants. Abraham is hailed as the first Hebrew and the father of Judaism

The laws and teachings of Judaism come from the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament and oral tradition, which were later written in the Mishnah, the Talmud, and other works.

In 90AD Hebrew rabbis meeting at Jamnia affirmed that only the traditional books of the Hebrew Scriptures should be regarded as Scripture and that all the additional books should be thrown out.

The medieval Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) is considered the foremost Talmudist of the Middle Ages. His most important writing was Guide to the Perplexed (1190), in which he tried to harmonize Rabbinical Judaism with the increasingly popular Aristotelianism of his day.

Antisemitism - the prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews has been practiced since the persecution of the Hebrews by the ancient Egyptians before the Exodus. It was prevalent  during the Middle Ages, in the form of persecutions, pogroms, forced conversion, expulsions, social restrictions and ghettoization.

The earliest instance in Europe where the term Judaism was used to desribe the practice of the Jewish religion was in  Robert Fabyan's The newe cronycles of Englande and of Fraunce a 1513.

Jews who follow the religious rules called "kashrut" only eat some types of food that are prepared by special rules. Food that a Jew can eat is called kosher food.

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