An Introduction to Judaism: Common Traditions and Beliefs

What are followers of the Judaic faith expected to do? After death, what do followers of the Judaic faith believe will take place? As you continue to explore Judaism, this article will allow you to encounter information regarding the spiritual guidance associated with the religion, as well as concepts of the afterlife and common beliefs, such as the 13 Articles of Faith.

Spiritual Guidance and Worship

Guiding the people is a rabbi, who is the spiritual leader for the Judaic faith. Adherents gather at a synagogue for their place of worship (also known as a “temple” in Reform Judaism circles). The Shabbat (or Sabbath) is observed on Saturday in the majority of the Judaic faith. Teachings usually center on being obedient to God as the purpose of life. Followers are expected to obey the law and atone for sin.

The Afterlife

In regards to the concept of what happens after life on Earth has ceased, varied views exist. Some believe in a nonexistence, while others hold onto the belief of reincarnation. Other views include Gan Eden (the concept of Garden of Eden) that should not be confused with the same place that Adam and Eve once lived, but instead, a place where spiritual perfection is obtained. Gehinnom is the equivalent of the hell mentioned in Christian religions, which is seen as a form of severe punishment.

Common Traditions and Beliefs

Under the Judaic faith, followers believe in seven days of creation, which include the separation of light from darkness; separation of water above and waters below; separation of land from water; the creation of the sun, moon, and stars; sea creatures and birds emerge; land creatures and man appear; and God rested on the seventh day.

The majority of Judaic followers adhere to the Ten Commandments, which state

1.    Worship no other gods.
2.    Do not worship idols.
3.    Do not misuse the name of the Lord.
4.    Keep the Sabbath holy.
5.    Honor your father and mother.
6.    Do not murder.
7.    Do not commit adultery.
8.    Do not steal.
9.    Do not give false testimony.
10.    Do not covet.

The 13 Articles of Faith is another part of the belief system of Judaism, which includes the following:

1.    God exists.
2.    God is one and unique.
3.    God is incorporeal.
4.    God is eternal.
5.    Prayer is to God only.
6.    The prophets spoke truth.
7.    Moses was the greatest of the prophets.
8.    The Written and Oral Torah were given to Moses.
9.    There will be no other Torah.
10.    God knows the thoughts and deeds of men.
11.    God will reward the good and punish the wicked.
12.    The Messiah will come.
13.    The dead will be resurrected.