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Although other ancient communities also perceived a divine presence in history, the understanding of the ancient Israelites proved to be the most lasting and influential.
It is this particular claim—to have experienced God’s presence in human events—and its subsequent development that is the differentiating factor in Jewish thought.
Furthermore, each period of Jewish history has left behind it a specific element of a Judaic heritage that continued to influence subsequent developments, so that the total Jewish heritage at any given time is a combination of all these successive elements along with whatever adjustments and accretions have occurred in each new age.monotheism.
One God, the creator of the world, has freely elected the Jewish people for a unique covenantal relationship with himself.
In the second section the beliefs, practices, and culture of Judaism are discussed.
As the prophet ) expressed it: “You alone have I intimately known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:2).
The universal goal of the Jewish people has frequently expressed itself in messianism—the idea of a universal, political realm of justice and peace.
In one form or another, messianism has permeated Jewish thinking and action throughout the ages, and it has strongly influenced the outlook of many secular-minded Jews ( Law embraces practically all domains of Jewish life, and it became the principle means by which Judaism was to bring about the reign of God on earth.
It is a total guide to religious and ethical conduct, involving ritualistic observance as well as individual and social ethics.
It is a liturgical and ethical way constantly expatiated on by the prophets and priests, by rabbinic sages, and by philosophers.
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