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Quick Facts on Judaism
•Judaism is the monotheistic faith of the Jews. The word itself does not appear in the Bible. It appears to have been coined by Hellenized [Greek speaking] Jews and denotes both a religious and a national concept.
•The basic religious statement in Judaism, known from its first Hebrew word as the SHEMA, is the verse from Deuteronomy: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One” (6:4).
•From Abraham, the history of the Jewish people can be traced through the PATRIARCHS to the exile in Egypt, the subsequent EXODUS and the giving of the TORAH and fulfillment of the COVENANT, the conquest of CANAAN, the Judges, the monarchy and the later division into two kingdoms, the Babyloniam EXILE and the return under EZRA and NEHEMIAH, the HASMONEANS, the subsequent loss of independence and destruction of the TEMPLE by the Romans, the dispersion of the Jews throughout the world for centuries…, the record of persecution and pogroms culminating in the HOLOCAUST, the creation of flourishing communities in the West, and the reestablishment of a Jewish state.
From "JUDAISM." The New Encyclopedia of Judaism. New York: New York University Press, 2002. Credo Reference. Web. 22 February 2012.