When was Judaism founded as a religion?
Most people used to believe in many gods. This is called polytheism. But about 3,500 years ago a man first told people that there is only one God who created the whole universe, the earth and all living things. The people too. This Creator should be omnipotent and benevolent, helping all living beings, and forgiving people's mistakes and forgiving sins. The man who spoke of this God was named Abraham. He became the forefather of the Jews.
The Bible reports that God first put Abraham through a severe test and then made a covenant with him. Abraham should tell many people about him, the one God, and they should only believe in him. In return, God promised Abraham the "promised land" for his family and his people. Abraham's people were the Israelites and the promised land was called Canaan. It was roughly in present-day Israel. Abraham's children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all other descendants should be fine there.
Abraham agreed to the deal and spread faith in the one God as best he could. He was later helped by Moses and many other prophets. Even so, it took many years for Abraham's family and people to finally arrive in the promised land of Canaan. Because not everyone agreed with the message of the one God. Some rulers also made enemies of Abraham and his successors. The Bible tells of an escape from Egypt and of 40 years of arduous and dangerous migration of the people through the desert. There is talk of attacks, plagues, miracles and a new covenant that God made with Moses. The whole history of Judaism is in the Five Books of Moses. Jews call it Torah. It is their most sacred scripture.
The five books of Moses also belong to the First Testament of Christians. In addition to the Jews and Christians, Muslims, Baha'i and followers of other religions that later developed from Judaism also believe in Abraham and his story. Because Abraham is their common ancestor, they are all called "Abrahamic religions".
Your questions about Jewish history
How did Abraham prove his trust in God?
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