History of Judaism
The history of Judaism goes back to over 3500 years ago in the Middle East and can be understood through the Tanakh, the Hebrew canonical bible which includes the Torah. Moses was the founder of Judaism, but the Jewish people believe that the religion started developing from the time of Abraham. There are different variations of the origin of Judaism.
According to Judaism, God chose Abraham to act as a father of the chosen people. With this act of faith, Abraham was promised by God that his second son Isaac would inherit all of Israel. It is also believe that God promised many descendants in addition to the land.
According to Biblical Judaism, Hebrews were living in servitude in Egypt for many years. To rescue Hebrews from servitude, God enforced a number of plagues and drowned the Egyptian army in the Red Sea. This helped the Hebrews escape and it was when they reached Mount Sinai, which was established as the nation of Israel, that the Torah was given to Moses. Within the set rules given to Moses were the Ten Commandments. It is said that the Israelites journeyed to the Land of Canaan for forty years with Moses as their leader.
The exodus eventually led the people to Israel, but years of turmoil and conflict caused a shift in the focus on God. As a result, God instructed the Philistines to take over the tabernacle that was placed in Shiloh. This also led to many years of centralized authority under the rule of King Saul, King David and King Solomon.
Judaism ultimately became a structured religion. After a series of victories, exiles, destruction, rebuilding, and revolutions, the 1930s and 1940s marked the Jewish Holocaust which was organized by Nazi Germans. In an attempt to end Judaism, six million Jews were killed throughout Europe. In 1948, the State of Israel was created. Jews are still embroiled in a struggle with Palestinians concerning ownership of the land.