Jewish law is rooted in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
Judaism grew out of a covenant between God, Abraham, Abraham’s children and their descendants. Moses, likely born during the late 14th century BC, led the Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, received the Torah from God and taught the people God’s laws.
The main denominations of Judaism are Orthodox, Conservative and Reform.
Jewish people worship at synagogues, and any educated member of the congregation can lead a service. However, a rabbi or cantor usually leads services.
Rabbis are Jewish spiritual authorities, educated at yeshivas, religious seminaries. Rabbis interpret the Bible and present the meaning of Jewish law.
Observant Jews keep kosher, following dietary laws that prohibit the eating of certain foods including shellfish and pork, as well as meals that contain a mix of meat and dairy.
A yarmulke or kippa is a cap worn by Jewish men as well as secular men at religious ceremonies. The custom isn’t rooted in the Bible but evolved out of the belief that God is watching from above.
Kabbalah is a mystical type of Torah study centered on spiritual enlightenment and personal growth.
Shabbat, the Sabbath or day of rest, begins Friday night and lasts until sundown Saturday.
Israel (6,998,000, 46.1%) and the United States (7,300,000, 48.1%) are the two countries with the largest Jewish populations.