The most ancient religion of the world — Judaism
Among the most ancient religious beliefs of particular interest was Judaism. This course appeared long before Christianity and Islam, and was the basis for their formation. Judaism is the first monotheistic religion in which the belief in one God, the Creator of the world. A feature of the teachings is the idea of «God-chosen» one nation.
The preconditions for the emergence of Judaism
It is believed that the religion began to emerge around the first Millennium BC. Many scientists believe that the formation of Judaism was influenced by the mythological worldview of the cultures that preceded it. Among them a special influence such as the Egyptian and vavilona-Sumerian. It should be noted that the basic teachings were gradually formed over several centuries, beginning in the 19th century BC. Then came the first idea of the one God Yahweh, and religion became to recognizable features.
The whole history of Judaism connected with the history of the Jewish people. The process occurred in several stages, on the background of resettlement of the Semitic and Aramaic tribes in the territory of modern Israel and was reflected in the biblical stories about Abraham, Jacob and Moses. Thus the first who began to worship a Single God, is Abraham. And in the time of Moses the Jewish people received the commandments and the basic laws governing all aspects of life, both religious and secular, which were included in the Torah. Gradually the original pagan cults had become a recognizable Judaism. But in the old Testament is still possible to find traces of totemism.
In the 9th century BC, appears the state of Israel, bringing together all the Jewish tribes, its centre was Jerusalem. It was at this time was built the temple of Jerusalem – the main religious building, which became the spiritual center of Judaism. During this period there was a centralization of power.
This phase ended in the year 586 BC when the temple was destroyed by Babylonians and Jews, residents of Jerusalem, had to move to Babylon. Later, the temple in Jerusalem was revived, and the custom of sacrifice, but after the second destruction, occurred in the year 70 BC, sacrifices were gradually replaced with worship in the form of prayers. While a large spread steel to the synagogue building, which was carried out the Assembly of believers to conduct prayers and study the Torah – the laws derived according to the legend Moses from God. In the synagogue it was impossible to bring sacrifices, in contrast to the temple in Jerusalem. At the same time, in contrast to the priests appeared and scribes – people who were involved in interpretation of the Torah and taught the laws collected in her other.
The Sadducees and Pharisees
Further development of Judaism led to the emergence of two types of its adherents, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The first included representatives of the noble classes and the clergy. The second was represented mainly middle class and were adherents of knizhnosti. The Sadducees were more conservative – they zealously adhered to the accepted canons, dramatically denying the possibility of their changes in accordance with the spirit of time. Besides the followers of this movement rejected the presence of the afterlife, and other mystical manifestations. The Pharisees, on the contrary, was more open to change, but for the preservation of the base, which was based Judaism.
Talmudism and Rabbinism
Further period of the development of Judaism is associated with the Jewish war, which occurred from 67 to 73 BC, during which the Jewish people were expelled from the territory of Israel. As a result, Asia and the Roman Empire there were communities of Jews, which differed from each other by peculiarities of customs, traditions and language. Its main objective was to preserve traditions and religion so she will not be forgotten by posterity.
In such circumstances, and created the Talmud, representing the second of the main Holy books of the Tanakh after the code consists of 2 parts. First, the Mishnah, included a set of laws and regulations, according to which should be the life of the believer. It was touched upon all sides of existence, from the rules of service, appearance and daily routine. The second part of the book – the Gemara consisted of comments to the first part, which essentially facilitates the study of the Talmud.
This has dramatically changed and the system of worship in which the main criteria were the refusal of sacrifice and use as a Central religious site of the synagogue, where he conducted prayer rituals, as well as public meetings. The study of the laws of doctrine and worship was conducted under the leadership of rabbis and spiritual teachers who are no longer priests.
The expulsion of the Jews from Israel influenced the further development of religion. So, there the teachings of Kabbalah, in which the strong influence religion has had various mystical practices. Great importance was given to symbolism.
Further, Judaism has continued to evolve. In the middle ages an attempt was made to adapt the religion to the European way of life, so along with the traditional over appeared and reformist. At the moment the traditional Judaism practiced by the inhabitants of Israel, while the Jews living in the territory of Western countries, adhere to the reformist trends.