Judaism is a monotheistic, non-Trinitarian world religion that is comprised by those "who define themselves as Jews in positive relation to the traditions formulated by the rabbis of the Talmud,". The Talmudic tradition begins around AD 200, although the Palestinian Talmud is not completed until c. AD 450, and the Babllonian Talmud c. AD 550. By this definition, Judaism excludes the Hebrew religion of the Old Testament, as well as first-century sects such as the Sadducees, Samaritans, Essenes, and Jewish Christians. Judaism nonetheless sees itself as an heir to the religion of Abraham and the covenant made with Moses during the events of the Israelite journey to the Promised Land from Egypt.
After the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in AD 70, the Jewish inhabitants of Judea were scattered throughout the empire, setting up their homes in Europe and North Africa. It was the destruction and subsequent diaspora that gave rise to the reforms which established Rabbinical Judaism.
Jews have been persecuted for thousands of years, with the most notable persecutions being their expulsion from Spain in 1492 and the genocide waged by the Nazi’s, commonly referred to as the Holocaust (or the Shoah). The Holocaust took the lives of six million Jews in Europe, not without resistance from various Orthodox hierarchs, notably in Greece and Bulgaria.
- The Jewish Roots of Christian Mysticism - A set of resources put together by a seminary led by Fr. Alexander Golitzin
Judaism and Russian Church Life
- Luzhkov demonstrates against antisemitism: Moscow Mayor backs Jewish Community - by Will Englund, Baltimore Sun, July 22, 1998
- Norman Solomon, Judaism: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 1996), p. 4.