Judaism

Judaism—the seed of all monotheistic faiths—sprouted in the sacred land of Jerusalem, the present capital of Israel. It was the first monotheist religion of the world. The Old Testament, the Jewish Bible has documented the ancient history of Judaism and Israel. The Bible is an anthology of several religious books compiled over roughly a millennium; the oldest texts appeared around three thousand years ago. These books contain history, myths, morals, prayers, rituals, sacrifices, magic and medicines; these are the collection of all the knowledge, the Israelite priests had at the time of writing. Christianity and Islam also acknowledge several allegories of the Old Testament.

Genesis, the first book of the Jewish Bible, narrates how Lord/God created all the animals and plants on the earth: He created the world in six days. On the first two days, God manufactured media prima—the raw material of living beings. On the third day, He grew all the plants on the face of the earth. On the fourth and fifth days, He created all the animals in the shapes they are seen today. On the sixth day, He designed the first man—Adam; the same day, He took the twelfth rib of Adam and fashioned it into the first female—Eve. On the seventh day, the exhausted Lord rested.

Today, this theory is the most elaborate, interesting and widely accepted belief about the origin of life on the earth. Apart from Jews, Christians and Muslims also believe this biblical theory of special creation. Many Jewish and Christian scholars have speculated that God created life on 23 October 4004 BCE.
Sacrifice was an essential and elaborately performed part of Judaism. Almost all major prayers to Yahweh began with burnt offering and other sacrifices. Legend has it that ancient Jews sacrificed their first child because they believed that childbirth reduced God’s energy. It is surprising today that people could consider restoring the power of the almighty God through killing a child.

Let us consider why Jews killed animals as the sacrifice to appease Yahweh. Did Yahweh enjoy animal sacrifices as a sport? Did He eat them? In fact, Jews killed animals only to eat them. Yahweh had nothing to do with the hunger of Jews or the suffering of innocent animals. Humankind did whatever it wished, liked or required, not necessarily by divine command as most religious scriptures proclaim.

Discussion on the stories of the Bible leads us to the conclusion that these were simply myths of the time. People believed that someone in the sky caused their sufferings, such as plague, storms, earthquakes or epidemics. It was perhaps Moses, who named that sky power as Yahweh. Since priests documented these fables in the Bible, the subsequent generations believed these to be historical facts.

Judaism was the first organised religion and had one fundamental difference in its ideology. All pagan religions had many gods, so the followers were always ready to accept new gods. Judaism was a monotheistic religion and its God commanded a consistent message: ‘I am the only God; worship no other gods but Me.’ This doctrine of ‘no other gods’ meant denial of all other faiths. Many followers of Judaism and its daughter religions committed a major percentage of the historical massacres only to enforce this doctrine.