Judaism, monotheistic religion developed among the ancient Hebrews. Judaism is characterized by a belief in one transcendent God who revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew prophets and by a religious life in accordance with Scriptures and rabbinic traditions. Judaism is the complex phenomenon of a total way of life for the Jewish people, comprising theology, law, and innumerable cultural traditions.
Judaism is more than an abstract intellectual system, though there have been many efforts to view it systematically. It affirms divine sovereignty disclosed in creation (nature) and in history, without necessarily insisting upon—but at the same time not rejecting—metaphysical speculation about the divine. It insists that the community has been confronted by the divine not as an abstraction but as a person with whom the community and its members have entered into a relationship. It is, as the concept of Torah indicates, a program of human action, rooted in this personal confrontation. Further, the response of this particular people to its encounter with God is viewed as significant for all humankind. The community is called upon to express its loyalty to God and the covenant by exhibiting solidarity within its corporate life on every level, including every aspect of human behavior, from the most public to the most private. Thus, even Jewish worship is a communal celebration of the meetings with God in history and in nature. Yet the particular existence of the covenant people is thought of not as contradicting but rather as enhancing human solidarity. This people, together with all humanity, is called upon to institute political, economic, and social forms that will affirm divine sovereignty. This task is carried out in the belief not that humans will succeed in these endeavours solely by their own efforts but that these sought-after human relationships have their source and their goal in God, who assures their actualization. Within the community, each Jew is called upon to realize the covenant in his or her personal intention and behavior.*