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Judaism

Symbols:

1- "Mezuzah": A small box of wood or metal containing 15 verses of the Bible, the "Shema" attached to the doorpost of the house and of each room, reminder of God's presence everywhere.
2- "Tefillin": Two small boxes containing verses of the Bible, adjusted to the forehead and left arm during the morning prayer, for the mind and the heart.

3- "Yarmulke" ("Kippa"): Yiddish word for the skull-cap, as a sign of respect to God.
4- "Menorah": 7 branches candlestick.
5- "Philacteries": Boy putting them on for the morning prayer. 6- "Star of David" ("Magen David", "Shield of David", "Sign of the Messiah"): Because David used a shield like this in battle. The Jews use it since the 7th century AC; the Zionists adopted it as their symbol. The Christians use it even before the 7th century, as the "Star of Bethlehem" and the "Trinity" because of the crossed triangles.

Abraham:

He is the Father of Judaism, in Gen.12; and in Gen.22, after Abraham tried to offer his beloved son in sacrifice, says Yahweh: "I swear by my own self, Yahweh declares, because you have done this, because you have not refused me your own beloved son, I will shower blessings on you, and make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the grains of sand on the seashore".

The fulfillment of the promise is taking some time, but today, Abraham is the Father of the Jews (17 million), the Father of the Christians (2,100 million), and the Father of the Muslims (1,200 millions)... a total of 3,317 millions... half of the inhabitants of the Earth!... and God has not finished yet!...

JUDAISM:

Judaism started with the Promise of God to Abram, in Gen.12, 2,000 years BC... The beginning of Hinduism, was 1,500 years BC, at the times of Moses.

- In a "wide sense", "Judaism" is the sum of the descendants of Abraham, as described above.

- In a "strict sense", "Jew", comes from "Judah", the 4th of the 12 tribes of Israel, first used in 2 Kings 16:6, to mean "the citizens of Judah". In Jeremiah means the "members of Israel", the Southern Kingdom. In the exile, in Esther, "a religious meaning was added", with the distinction between "Jew" and "Gentile". By the first century AC, "Jew" and "Israel" had become almost synonymous terms, and in the New Testament the words are used interchangeable.

"Judaism", today, is the religion practiced by Jews; but it is not exactly, because the term "Jew" has both an ethnic and a religious meaning, and not all Jews follow the tenants of Judaism. In fact, the Kenesset, the parliament of the state of Israel, defines Jew with an ethnic meaning, so that atheists may be included in the category. We shall use the term in both ways, though the religious meaning will naturally predominate.

"Hebrew", is the language of the Jews, but at times referred to the "Jewish people".

"Palestine", from "Philistia", was the name given by the Romans to the boundaries of the actual state of Israel.

WORLD JEWISH POPULATION:

The World Jewish population has been maintained on about 14 million people since 1974, even with the persecutions and the great Nazi Holocaust (Pag.22-23).

In 1997 the figure is 17 million, with Israel gaining more than 2 million, surpassing Europe... it looks like it is the time of 2Macc.2, when God is gathering his people, and the Ark will appear with the great miracle of the column of fire.

Asia - Israel: 3,135,000 - Rest: 76,000 America: - U.S.A.: 5,860,000 - Canada: 305,000 - Argentina: 300,000 - Brazil: 150,000 - Rest: 169,000 Europe: - Soviet Union: 2,660,000 - France: 650,000 - U.K.: 410,000 -Rest: 422,000 Africa: - South Africa: 118,000 - Rest: 56,000 Oceania: - Australia: 70,000 - Rest: 5,000 1997: 17,400.000 Asia: 5,375,000 North America: 6,900,000 South America: 1,050,000 Europe: 1,460,00 Former Soviet Union: 2,200.000 Africa: 320,000 Oceania: 95,000

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