Karen Turner PHD | Judaism: An Introduction
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Judaism: An Introduction

Judaism: An Introduction

Psychological Article on Judaism

Psychological Article on Judaism

Judaism: An Introduction

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

By BoomerYearbook.com

Since the beginning of Judaism, the religion has been presented as one that is based on an agreed relationship between God and the Jews or the Children of Israel. It is considered as the first religion to be based around the concept of a single God or monotheism. Psychological articles abound with references to Judaic features as being the predecessor of all modern-day Western beliefs of religion, moral codes, and public laws.

As one of the oldest, if not the oldest formalized religion, even nowadays, Judaism is practiced with fervor as many of its beliefs, precepts, books and texts are adhered to by not only Jewish followers but also play a pivotal role in other religions of Abrahamic origins. Many readers are aware that Christianity incorporates the Old Testament or the Judaic Bible, but may be surprised to learn that Islam has also been greatly influenced by Judaism; and thus both Christianity and Islam are recognized as Semitic religions or variations or expansions upon Judaic doctrines. In fact, psychological articlestell us that Muslims are technically forbidden from marrying outside their faith unless marrying a Christian or a religious cousinJew.

Basic Principle of Judaism:

The most important principle of Judaism has always been an unwavering and strong belief in the existence of a single, omnipotent, omniscient and uplifting God; who is the Supreme Being, the creator of our Universe and the ruler of it all. As believed by its followers, Judaism arose from an agreement or a covenant that was formed between God and the people of Israel; when God revealed his laws and decrees to the Prophet Moses at Mount Sinai. This was done not only in the oral but also the written Torah, the holy book of the Jews. Tradition requires that followers of Judaism read and follow the commandments set forth in the Torah. The word “tradition” is used here because in spite of history showing Judaism to revere the concepts given in the Torah and hold them to be the principles on which Judaism is founded, modern day Judaism does not vest all authority in any one entity but believes in various holy texts, doctrines of law, and the interpretation of these laws by scholarly rabbis.

Who is a Jew?

To be a Jew, one needs to either be born to a Jewish mother or have converted to Judaism. This is an important point that many fail to understand as Judaism is a religion whereas being a Jew is commonly and inaccurately considered a racial or a nationalistic term. For instance, the Nazi’s wrongly decreed Judaism a race and additionally people often incorrectlyconfuse Zionism, (people living in Israel after establishing the Jewish nation in Palestine), with Judaism, the followers of the Jewish faith. According to psychological articles regarding the tradition that being born to a Jewish mother automatically gives the descendent Jewish status, it is explained that during the time of Jewish slavery, Jewish woman were routinely raped by their Egyptian slave owners, and therefore, Jews considered the mother as the proper descendent of Jewish lineage. Additionally, in a psychological article examining the subject,
Rebecca Weiner, in Who is a Jew? (Jewish Virtual Library) contends that anyone born of a Jewish mother or anyone converted to the religion is recognized as a Jew. Throughout history, Jews have been referred to by many names, some of the most common being Children of Israel or Israelites, which refers to the fact that the people are descendants of Jacob, who was also called Israel. (Jewish Virtual Library)

Contrary to misconceptions, modern as well as ancient Judaism embrace converts, (i.e., The Old Testament talks of Ruth as a convert and recognizes the children of Ruth as Jews), but does not attempt to convert those not actively seeking out Judaism. Boomer Yearbook, the website for psychological articles about types of discrimination, also discovered that technically speaking a Jew remains a Jew forever whether born Jewish, converted to Judaism or a practice of the Faith.

Prayers in Judaism:

Judaism traditionally involves praying three times a day whereas a 4th prayer is offered on certain occasions. Common Jewish holidays are the:

• Shabbat
• 3 Pilgrimage Festivals
• High Holy Days, and
• Hanukkah

Followers of Judaism traditionally wear a small round cap called a kippah, and a prayer shawl known as a tallit. In addition, knotted tassels called tzitzi and 2 square boxes made of leather called tefillin are also worn on certain occasions.

Astoundingly and still not completely understood, is the fact cited by Gail Lichtman in her 2004 psychological article, “Beating the Odds: Why Jews win so many Nobel Prizes”, Jews comprise less than .2% of the World’s population and yet have received 22% of Nobel Science Awards and an additionally high percentage of Nobel Prizes in Arts and Literature! In other words while only 1 out of every 1000 persons in the world is Jewish, nonetheless, they are recognized as a disproportionately represented body of contributors to world thought and innovation. In the 1996 book, “Comets, Jews and Christians,” the amazing statistic is presented that in the US, where Jews represent a slightly higher concentration than in the world population, (albeit still less that 2% of US people), approximately 32% have been awarded Nobel Science Prizes alone. Numerous psychological articles have pondered why this is true, but no definitive answers have been concluded.
Thus the world’s Jewish population that numbers approximately 12 million in 2009 has consistently been recognized as forerunners in intellectual thought and scientific contributions.

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

The Psychological Article on An Introduction to Judaism is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of psychological articles on World Religions, Spirtuality, and Solutions to Types of Discrimination. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.

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