Jewish law is rooted in the Torah, the first five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
Judaism grew out of a covenant between God, Abraham, the children of Abraham and their descendants. Moses, probably born in the late 14th century BC, brought the Jewish slaves out of Egypt, received the Torah from God, and taught the people the laws of God.
The main denominations of Judaism are Orthodox, Conservative and Reform.
Jews pray in synagogues, and any educated member of the community can lead the service. However, services are usually led by a rabbi or cantor.
Rabbis are Jewish spiritual authorities educated in yeshivas, religious seminaries. Rabbis interpret the Bible and represent the meaning of Jewish law.
Observant Jews keep kosher by following dietary laws that prohibit the consumption of certain foods, including shellfish and pork, as well as dishes containing a mixture of meat and dairy products.
The yarmulke or kippah is a cap worn by Jewish men as well as secular men in religious ceremonies. This custom is not rooted in the Bible, but developed out of the belief that God is watching from on high.
Kabbalah is a mystical form of Torah study focused on spiritual enlightenment and personal growth.
Shabbat, the Sabbath or day of rest, begins on Friday evening and lasts until sunset on Saturday.
Israel (6,998,000, 46.1%) and the United States (7,300,000, 48.1%) are the two countries with the largest Jewish populations.