(A handbook of religion was published by the Foundation for Pluralism in August 2004. All the groups were given the same set of questions, and some are really silly like denominations in Atheism.  Here is the production of such writings from Atheism to Zoroastrianism and every one in between; it is in two parts, essence of the faith and general information about it. We invite you to send your suggestions to  for updates and new information.- Please send us the preferred websites to be linked at the bottom - THE INFORMATION IS IN TWO PARTS)


(Information was incomplete at the time of publication of the handbook, it will be undertaken to revise now - Mike Ghouse) 

Traditional Greetings: Shalom, Shabbat Shalom (on the Sabbath)

Origins: Abraham first contact with God occurred probably about the year 1800 BCE.  God asked him to leave his home and move to the land of Canaan where Abraham would become the father of a nation

Originator: Abraham

People who shaped the religion: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Miriam, David, Solomon, The Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, and others), King Hezikiah, King Josiah, Rabbi Hillel, Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai, Judah HaNasi, Maimonides, Rashi, Moses Mendelsohn, Theodore Herzl, Abraham Joshua Heshel, and many more,

People who wrote the books: Different opinions                

Who is worshiped? God

Holy Books (Original Language) The Tanach (Hebrew) consisting of The Torah, The Books of Prophets, and The Books of Writings, The Talmud (Aramaic), The Shulchan Orech (Hebrew)

Holy Places of Worship: The land of Israel, Synagogues

Key Tenets: One God, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, We are commanded to perform acts of love and kindness

Prayer Rituals: A Jew prays as a community when possible (as much as three times a day and four or more on holidays and Shabbat).  Saturday (the Sabbath) is when most gather to pray; however, a Jewish day begins at sundown, so Jews gather to pray also on Friday night (the beginning of the Sabbath). 

Current Leadership: Each denomination has their own. 

Decision Makers:



Denominations: Reform, Orthodox, Conservative, Reconstructionist

Major Festivals: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Pesach (Passover), Shavuot, Shabbat.  Minor ones: Hannukah, Purim

Dietary Laws: Kashrut (keeping Kosher)- do not mix milk and meat, only eat animals with cloven hoofs and who chew their cud (cow not a pig), only eat seafood that has scales (trout but not shrimp or crab)

Sensitivities: Anti-Jewish sentiment (Anti-Semitism), phrases which demean Jews and support stereotypes such as: “I am going to Jew him down.”

What is not polite?

Customs from birth to death: Brit Milah (ritual circumcision and naming of a boy on the eighth day), the naming of a girl, Bar Mitzvah (coming of age ceremony for a boy at age 13), Bat Mitzvah (coming of age ceremony for a girl at age 13), consecration (beginning of religious school), confirmation (graduation from religious school), marriage ceremony (including a Ketubah or marriage contract), burial ritual at death

Textual support for Pluralism: We do not believe we have the only covenant with God.  The Noahide laws in Genesis attest to the belief that many people’s may have their own covenant, but each of us is still beholden to certain natural laws.

World Population: 13-14 million

US population: 5.5 million

North Texas Population: 50-70 thousand                                                                                                         

Terms are descriptive and may not be a precise.  Your suggestions will be considered for 2nd edition

When you read the scriptures, beware of the raw translations and apparent meaning of it.  Please make an attempt to understand from a perspective that it is God’s word and God will not be mean to any one. If you read the sentence and it gives you goose bumps, please check with the person who can resonate with the inherent goodness of God and the scriptures. If there is malice, it is not the right translation.

Material is not copyrighted, as it belongs to all. However we request that you give credit to the author of the text and the foundation for If reproduced, please produce it in its entirety.                       


The essence of Judaism
















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