Noah’s son Shem settled in a region that became known as “Ur” in the Chaldean Kingdom (modern day Iraq). Shem’s descendants became known as “Shemites” of which there was a man named Abram who was distinct in that he did not adhere to the polytheism of the popular culture and instead maintained a simple faith in the God of heaven and earth – Creator of all things.
The term “Shemite” has been carried down to our modern day reference of “Semite” or Semitic – this usually refers to those of a Jewish nationality but can also be used to reference Arabs and others of this specific geographic region
Abraham, referred to as the “Father of Faith” in the Bible, was greatly multiplied and his sons greatly multiplied all of which adhered to a “Hebrew” faith of monotheistic faith in One God and no other (revolutionary for the time).
Abraham’s grandson Jacob had 12 sons which each were to be multiplied into their own tribe forming a common bond of Hebraic people.
This people was multiplied as ‘outsiders’ in the land of Egypt and were enslaved for 400 years until God Almighty delivered them through a man named “Moses”.
Torah: “The Law” written by Moses (possibly finished by Joshua and later edited by Ezra the great Biblical author and scribe of post-exilic Judaism). Comprises the first 5 books of the Old Testament Canon: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The most famous passage of the Torah might be the decalogue or “10 Commandments” which can be summed up in the following:
Talmud: Not considered on the same level of authority as “scripture” by the Jewish sects but still a VERY highly regarded Jewish library of oral law and tradition established by influential Rabbis over the centuries. The Talmud consists of the:
Midrash: like the Talmud in terms of a lesser authority than the Scriptures, the Midrash is a commentary on the Torah and the rest of the Jewish scriptures by Rabbis over the last several centuries and it is from this modern adherence to the Talmud and Midrash that the term “Rabbinical Judaism” is derived.
Jewish people observe a holy day of rest in commemoration of God’s completed work of creation and later liberation of the Israelites from Egypt. It is observed from dusk to dusk starting Friday evening and ending Saturday evening each week.
The small “meeting places” for Jewish people where prayers, teaching, worship (singing of songs), and “breaking of bread” occur – traces back to the Maccabean time (2nd century B.C.) and continues up to this day. Can sometimes be referred to as “Temple”.
2. Hassidic – Hassidic Jews are a subsect of Orthodox Jews and were founded by Rabbi Yisroel ben Eliezer, known as the Baal Shem Tov (“master of the good name,”). The movement began in the 18th century, in Eastern Europe and places a greater emphasis on the spiritual as opposed to the intellectual. traditional Orthodoxy, in which greater emphasis is placed on the intellectual.
Reformed Jews are a very liberal wing of Judaism that all but denies any supernatural whatsoever.
They tend to focus on race and culture issues of Judaism, neglecting or avoiding Jewish religious issues.
Also started as a result of the “enlightenment” period and supposed necessity to meet the needs of those that reject Divine revelation.
See a final analysis of the Jewish view of the afterlife below…