From ProleWiki, the proletarian encyclopedia
ScriptureHebrew Bible (TaNaKh)
Theology6th century BCE
RegionIsrael, Jewish Autonomous Oblast, diaspora (primarily USA)
LanguageHebrew (liturgical)
Number of followers14–15 million

Judaism is an Abrahamic and monotheistic religion dating back roughly 3,500 years; practiced by over 15 million people in primarily Israel and the United States. Followers of the faith are called Jews, although this term can also refer to atheists born to a Jewish family (secular Jews). Judaism has had large influences on other Abrahamic religions such as Christianity and Islam.[1] It developed in ancient Palestine in the southern Levant, but following persecution from the Roman Empire spread across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and even as far as China.

The most important Jewish text is the TaNaKh (תנ"ך), the canonical collection of ancient books on law, mythology, history and other writings. Its name is an acronym for the three section of the TaNaKh: Torah (תוֹרה) , Nevi'im (נביאים) and Ketuvim (כתובים). Other important texts include the Talmud and Shulchan Aruch. Jews worship one god, although it has many names.



Biblical period

Second Temple

Cyrus of the Achaemenid Empire allowed a group of Jewish exiles to travel to Palestine and installed them as the local ruling class. Judaism split into aristocratic sects that collaborated with the Persian rulers and radical sects led by the peasantry. When the Seleucid Empire attempted to replace Yahweh with the Greek god Zeus, the Jews rose up and formed an independent state in the Maccabaean Revolt.[2]

Roman period

The Jews revolted against the Roman Empire in 66, 115, and 132 CE, and the Romans killed tens of thousands of them each time. The first revolt destroyed a revolutionary group inspired by Jesus, but his more conservative followers survived and later formed Christianity. After the last revolt, the Jews became almost entirely a diaspora group.[2]


During the Black Death, feudal bishops and kings encouraged pogroms and claimed that Jews had poisoned the wells.[3]


Rise of Zionism

Zionism was first proposed by European Christians starting in the 16th century. Some Jewish groups began to adopt Zionism in the late 19th century, and Theodor Herzl founded the World Zionist Organization in 1897 to advocate for the settlement of Palestine.[4] During this period, the Russian monarchy encouraged pogroms, leading many Jews to flee to the USA.[5]


See main article: Holocaust

Modern State of Israel

See main article: State of Israel


Religious texts



One of the most important historical practices in Judaism was the debt jubilee, described in chapter 25 of Leviticus, which forgave all personal debts once every 50 years. It also freed bond servants and restored land to people who had lost it.[6]

Names of God

Jewish identity


Famous Jews throughout history


  1. Neil Faulkner (2013). A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to Neoliberals: 'The End of Antiquity' (pp. 48–51). [PDF] Pluto Press. ISBN 9781849648639 [LG]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Neil Faulkner (2013). A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to Neoliberals: 'The End of Antiquity' (pp. 54–55). [PDF] Pluto Press. ISBN 9781849648639 [LG]
  3. Neil Faulkner (2013). A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to Neoliberals: 'European Feudalism' (p. 87). [PDF] Pluto Press. ISBN 9781849648639 [LG]
  4. "Deconstructing and debunking Zionism" (2019-11-20). Line Struggle Collective. Archived from the original on 2021-06-21. Retrieved 2022-07-05.
  5. Albert Szymanski (1984). Human Rights in the Soviet Union: 'The European Nationalities in the USSR' (p. 88). [PDF] London: Zed Books Ltd. ISBN 0862320186 [LG]
  6. Ben Norton, Michael Hudson (2023-05-05). "Origins of debt: Michael Hudson reveals how financial oligarchies in Greece & Rome shaped our world" Geopolitical Economy Report. Archived from the original on 2023-05-28.