Introduction to Judaism (Great Courses)


  • Although Judaism is defined by its worship of one God, it was not always a pure monotheism. In I Kings 8, King Solomon addresses the Lord by saying, “There is no God like You,” suggesting that the Israelites recognized the existence of other gods.
  • The practice of Judaism was focused on animal sacrifice until the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in the 1st century, which forced a radically new approach to worship.
  • The political emancipation of the Jews in 18th-century Europe transformed a 1,000-year-old style of Jewish life. “You can’t find an expression of Judaism today that is just like [the way] Jews lived 300 years ago,” says Professor Shai Cherry.

Yet for all it has changed, Judaism has maintained unbroken ties to a foundation text, an ethnicity, a set of rituals and holidays, and a land.

In these 24 lectures, Professor Cherry explores the rich religious heritage of Judaism from biblical times to today.

Take this online course from Great Courses.


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