Judaica (clockwise from top): Shabbat candlesticks, handwashing cup, Chumash and Tanakh, Torah pointer, shofar and etrog box
Maccabees by Wojciech Stattler (1842)
A painting of Moses decorates the Dura-Europos synagogue dating from 244 CE
The Western Wall in Jerusalem is a remnant of the wall encircling the Second Temple. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism.
Kennicott Bible, a 1476 Spanish Tanakh
Aleppo Codex, a Tanakh produced in Tiberias in the 10th century
A man holds up a Sephardi-style torah at the Western Wall, Jerusalem
Statue of Maimonides in Córdoba, Spain
Conservative women rabbis, Israel
El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia
Beta Israeli Kahen at the Western Wall
A Yemenite Jew at morning prayers, wearing a kippah skullcap, prayer shawl and tefillin
An Israeli female soldier prays at the Western Wall
Jewish boys wearing tzitzit and kippot play soccer in Jerusalem
Men wearing tallitot pray at the Western Wall
Two braided Shabbat challahs placed under an embroidered challah cover at the start of the Shabbat meal
Jews in Mumbai break the Yom Kippur fast with roti and samosas
Purim street scene in Jerusalem
Jewish personnel of the US Navy light candles on Hanukkah
A man reads a torah using a yad
The Sarajevo Synagogue in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Great Synagogue (Jerusalem)
Congregation Emanu-El of New York
18th-century circumcision chair Museum of Jewish Art and History
Two boys wearing tallit at a bar mitzvah. The torah is visible in the foreground.
The Bereavement (Yahrtzeit) Hasidic tish, Bnei Brak, Israel
Jewish students with their teacher in Samarkand, Uzbekistan c. 1910.
Magen David Synagogue in Kolkata, India
A Yemeni sofer writing a torah in the 1930s
Judaism is practiced around the world. This is an 1889 siddur published in Hebrew and Marathi for use by the Bene Israel community
The 12th century Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca in Toledo, Spain was converted to a church shortly after anti-Jewish pogroms in 1391
Muslim women in the mellah of Essaouira
The bimah of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo, Egypt

Abrahamic, monotheistic, and ethnic religion comprising the collective religious, cultural, and legal tradition and civilization of the Jewish people.

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Belief that there is only one deity, an all-supreme being that is universally referred to as God.

The tetragrammaton in Paleo-Hebrew (10th century BCE to 135 CE), old Aramaic (10th century BCE to 4th century CE), and square Hebrew (3rd century BCE to present) scripts.
The Trinity is the belief in Christianity that God is one God in essence but three persons: God the Father, God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit.
God in The Creation of Adam, fresco by Michelangelo (c. 1508–1512)
Arabic calligraphy reading "Allah, may his glory be glorified"
Mandaean pendant
Baháʼí House of Worship, Langenhain, Germany
Pharaoh Akhenaten and his family adoring the Aten.
Shang Dynasty bronze script character for tian (天), which translates to Heaven and sky.
Krishna displays his Vishvarupa (universal form) to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.
Faravahar (or Ferohar), one of the primary symbols of Zoroastrianism, believed to be the depiction of a Fravashi (guardian spirit)
A Sikh temple, known as Nanaksar Gurudwara, in Alberta, Canada.
Ik Onkār, a Sikh symbol representing "the One Supreme Reality"
Fictionalized portrait of Xenophanes from a 17th-century engraving
Remains of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, Greece.

Monotheism characterizes the traditions of Bábism, the Baháʼí Faith, Cheondoism, Christianity, Deism, Druzism, Eckankar, Sikhism, some sects of Hinduism (such as Shaivism and Vaishnavism), Islam, Judaism, Mandaeism, Rastafari, Seicho-no-Ie, Tenrikyo, Yazidism, and Atenism.

Rabbinic Judaism

Talmud students
The first page of the Vilna Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Berachot, folio 2a.

Rabbinic Judaism (יהדות רבנית), also called Rabbinism, Rabbinicism, or Judaism espoused by the Rabbanites, has been the mainstream form of Judaism since the 6th century CE, after the codification of the Babylonian Talmud.

Hellenistic Judaism

Map of Alexander's empire, extending east and south of ancient Macedonia.
Mosaic floor of a Jewish Synagogue Aegina (300 CE).
Joshua. Fresco from Dura-Europos synagogue.

Hellenistic Judaism was a form of Judaism in classical antiquity that combined Jewish religious tradition with elements of Greek culture.

Middle East

Geopolitical term that commonly refers to the region spanning Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Province), East Thrace (European part of Turkey), Egypt, Iran, the Levant (including Ash-Shām and Cyprus), Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq), and the Socotra Archipelago (a part of Yemen).

Map of the Middle East between Africa, Europe, Central Asia, and Southern Asia.
Middle East map of Köppen climate classification.
Western Wall and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
The Kaaba, located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Islam is the largest religion in the Middle East. Here, Muslim men are prostrating during prayer in a mosque.
Oil and gas pipelines in the Middle-East
Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Amman – Jordan
Ankara – Turkey
Baghdad, Iraq
Beirut – Lebanon
Cairo – Egypt
Damascus – Syria
Doha – Qatar
Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Istanbul – Turkey
Jerusalem – Israel
Kuwait City – Kuwait
Manama – Bahrain
Mecca – Saudi Arabia
Muscat – Oman
Nicosia – Cyprus
Ramallah – Palestine
Sana'a – Yemen
Tehran – Iran
Tel Aviv – Israel

Several major religions have their origins in the Middle East, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Orthodox Judaism

Visitors in the Orthodox Jewish cemetery in Budapest, circa 1920; the word "Orthodox" (ארטאדאקסען) is painted on the wall, second to the left. Traditionalist Jews in Hungary were the first anywhere to use the term "orthodox" in the formation of an independent Orthodox organization in 1871.
A Jewish man pilloried in the synagogue, a common punishment in the pre-emancipation Jewish community in Europe.
Moses Sofer of Pressburg, considered the father of Orthodoxy in general and ultra-Orthodoxy in particular.
Isaac Bernays in clerical vestments. The ministerial style of dress seen here was ubiquitous among German and Western European (neo)-Orthodox Jews.
David Zvi Hoffmann, the single most prominent Orthodox theoretician who dealt with the critical-historical method.
Young Samson Raphael Hirsch, the ideologue of Orthodox secession in Germany.
Chaim Sofer, the leading halakhic authority of the Hungarian "zealots" during the Orthodox-Neolog schism.
Beth Medrash Govoha (Hebrew:בית מדרש גבוה), in Lakewood, New Jersey, U.S., the world's largest yeshiva outside Israel
Haredi schoolgirls at the Western Wall.
Ultra-Orthodox demonstrators (over 300,000 took part), protesting for the right of Yeshiva students to avoid conscription to the Israeli Army. Jerusalem, 2 March 2014.

Orthodox Judaism is the collective term for the traditionalist and theologically conservative branches of contemporary Judaism.

Mount Sinai (Bible)

Mountain at which the Ten Commandments were given to Moses by God.

Mount Sinai, showing the approach to Mount Sinai, 1839 painting by David Roberts, in The Holy Land, Syria, Idumea, Arabia, Egypt, and Nubia
View down to the Saint Catherine's Monastery from the trail to the summit
A mosque at the top
Saint Catherine's Monastery
The Siq, facing Petra's Treasury, at the foot of Jebel al-Madhbah
Moses on Mount Sinai, by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1895-1900
Mass-revelation at Mount Sinai in an illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company, 1907
God Appears to Elijah on Mount Horeb, 1860 woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Karolsfeld
Mount Sinai depicted on late medieval Georgian manuscript
Published by French cartographer Alain Manesson Mallet, 1719
16th century
Mount Sinai, by El Greco, 1570-1572

Mount Sinai is one of the most sacred locations in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.


A full set of the Babylonian Talmud
Sefer Torah at Glockengasse Synagogue (museum exhibits), Cologne
Hasidim walk to the synagogue, Rehovot, Israel.
A mixed-gender, egalitarian Conservative service at Robinson's Arch, Western Wall
Set of Mishneh Torah
Shulchan Aruch HaRav
Peninei Halakha Set
An illuminated manuscript of Arba'ah Turim from 1435

Halakha (הֲלָכָה, Sephardic: ), also transliterated as halacha, halakhah, and halacho (Ashkenazic: ), is the collective body of Jewish religious laws which is derived from the written and Oral Torah.

Rabbinic literature

Rabbi instructing children in 2004

Rabbinic literature, in its broadest sense, is the entire spectrum of rabbinic writings throughout Jewish history.

Reform Judaism

Major Jewish denomination that emphasizes the evolving nature of the faith, the superiority of its ethical aspects to its ceremonial ones, and belief in a continuous revelation, which is closely intertwined with human reason and not limited to the theophany at Mount Sinai.

The interior of Congregation Emanu-El of New York, the largest Reform synagogue in the world.
A segment of the 1818 Hamburg prayer book. Stating "accept the uttering of our lips instead of our obligatory sacrifices" and omitting the traditional "O gather our dispersions... Conduct us unto Zion" passage.
A passage from the Reformed Society's prayerbook, which was mostly in English and theologically more radical than Hamburg's.
Rabbi Abraham Geiger, circa 1840.
Rabbi Samuel Holdheim, circa 1850.
Isaac Meyer Wise.
Rabbi David Einhorn.
Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler.
Claude Montefiore.
Contemporary Reform service, with some congregants wearing head coverings and prayer shawls.

A liberal strand of Judaism, it is characterized by lessened stress on ritual and personal observance, regarding halakha (Jewish law) as non-binding and the individual Jew as autonomous, and great openness to external influences and progressive values.


Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text that is considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God (or Allah) as it was revealed to Muhammad, the main and final Islamic prophet.

The Kaaba at Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest Islamic site
Muhammad receiving his first revelation from the angel Gabriel. From the manuscript Jami' al-Tawarikh by Rashid-al-Din Hamadani, 1307.
The first chapter of the Quran, Al-Fatiha (The Opening), is seven verses
A Persian miniature depicts Muhammad leading Abraham, Moses, Jesus and other prophets in prayer.
Silver coin of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, inscribed with the Shahadah
Muslim men prostrating in prayer, at the Umayyad Mosque, Damascus.
A fast-breaking feast, known as Iftar, is served traditionally with dates
Pilgrims at the Great Mosque of Mecca during the Hajj season
Muslim men reading the Quran
Portrait of the Mughal Emperor Akbar supplicating to God.
Rashidun and Umayyad expansion
Dome of the Rock built by caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan; completed at the end of the Second Fitna
The eye, according to Hunain ibn Ishaq from a manuscript dated c. 1200
Ghazan Khan, 7th Ilkhanate ruler of the Mongol Empire, converts to Islam
Abdülmecid II was the last Caliph of Islam from the Ottoman dynasty.
World Muslim population by percentage (Pew Research Center, 2014).
The nine volumes of Sahih Al-Bukhari, one of the six Sunni hadith books
The Imam Hussein Shrine in Iraq is a holy site for Shia Muslims
An overview of the major sects and madhahib of Islam
The Whirling Dervishes, or Mevlevi Order by the tomb of Sufi-mystic Rumi
Islamic schools of law in the Muslim world
Crimean Tatar Muslim students (1856)
Islamic veils represent modesty
John of Damascus, under the Umayyad Caliphate, viewed Islamic doctrines as a hodgepodge from the Bible.
Great Mosque of Djenné, in the west African country of Mali
Dome in Po-i-Kalyan, Bukhara, Uzbekistan
14th century Great Mosque of Xi'an in China
16th century Menara Kudus Mosque in Indonesia showing Indian influence
The phrase Bismillah in an 18th-century Islamic calligraphy from the Ottoman region.
Geometric arabesque tiling on the underside of the dome of Hafiz Shirazi's tomb in Shiraz, Iran
Ulu mosque in Utrecht, Netherlands

Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith that was revealed many times through earlier prophets such as Adam, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, among others; these earlier revelations are attributed to Judaism and Christianity, which are regarded in Islam as spiritual predecessor faiths.