Quick Judaism 101:


Judaism emerged around 4000 years ago when Abraham proclaimed that there is only one God. During this period of time, the people in the Middle East believed in a plethora of gods, however Abraham and Sarah persevered. Abraham and Sarah were old and unable to bear children, however God bestowed upon them that they would indeed have children and their own land, The Promised Land. 


Abraham's lineage eventually became known as the Israelites after Abraham's son Isaac's son Jacob, also known as Israel. The Israelites were promised protection from the dangers of their travel as long as they kept God's conditional covenant (a reciprocal relationship where each partner chooses the other and does good). However, while still traveling to The Promised Land, the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians. Out of the Isrealites, Moses was chosen by God to lead them to salvation. God bestowed upon Moses the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai. 


The establishment of the first Jewish temple under David and Solomon created a direct point of religion for Jewish families (c. 1000 BCE). The temple served as a place for worship, sacrifice, and prayer while also creating a sense of divine protection. 


However, the Babloynians destroyed the first temple (586 B.C.E), and the second temple (515 B.C.E) was built and brought forward the canonization of scripture and reaffirming the conditional covenant with God and the Jewish people. However, the second temple was also destroyed which served as a major crises to the Jewish people (70 C.E). Through being able to adapt with the destruction of the second temple, the Jewish people were able to survive. 


The Ten Commandments are written below: 


  1. Worship no other God but Me.

  2. Do not make images to worship.

  3. Do not misuse the name of God. Observe the Sabbath Day (Saturday).

  4. Keep it Holy.

  5. Honor and respect your father and mother.

  6. Do not murder.

  7. Do not commit adultery.

  8. Do not steal.

  9. Do not accuse anyone falsely. Do not tell lies about other people.

  10. Do not envy others possessions.


The resources below relate to those who are spiritually aligned with Judaism and have questions relating to sexuality and LGBTQ+ in Judaism. 


Want to learn more? Click here for a more in depth introduction and resources on the history of Judaism: https://www.uri.org/kids/world-religions/jewish-beliefs


Judaism Resources

  • Keshet

    Keshet envisions a world in which all LGBTQ Jews and our families can live with full equality, justice, and dignity. By strengthening Jewish communities and equipping Jewish organizations with the skills and knowledge they need to make all LGBTQ Jews feel welcome, we work to ensure the full equality of all LGBTQ Jews and our families in Jewish life. We also create spaces in which all queer Jewish youth feel seen and valued and advance LGBTQ rights nationwide.
    Spatial CoverageWorldwide
    Temporal Coverage21st Century
  • JQY

    JQY (Jewish Queer Youth) is a nonprofit organization supporting and empowering LGBTQ youth in the Jewish community. JQY fights to ensure the emotional and physical health and safety of these individuals, with a special focus on teens and young adults from Orthodox, Chasidic, and Sephardic communities. Our goal is for all these individuals to know: You are a valued member of the Jewish community and you are not alone.
    Spatial CoverageWorldwide
    Temporal Coverage21st Century
  • Havruta

    Havruta, Religious Homosexuals in Israel, is the largest organization of Orthodox Jewish gay men. It provides a safe haven and actively works to inform and educate the religious public about LGBT issues in their communities. In just a few years, Havruta and Bat Kol, the organization of Orthodox lesbians, have created huge change in Israel’s Orthodox world, bringing conversation about LGBT people where previously there was complete silence, and making it possible for LGBT Orthodox people to consider maintaining both aspects of their identity.
    Spatial CoverageJerusalem
    Temporal Coverage21st Century
  • Eshel

    Eshel’s mission is to create a future for Orthodox lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals, and their families. Through its innovative and culturally sensitive programming, Eshel supports LGBTQ Jews, opening hearts, minds and doors in traditional Jewish communities.
    Spatial CoverageCanadaTorontoMontreal
    Temporal Coverage21st Century
  • Bat Kol

    A religious lesbian organization was established in 2005 by women who do not give up their religious identity, nor their right to exercise their lives as lesbians. The social group that became Bat-Kol was founded by about ten women. In the winter of 2005, the organization was born and its name was chosen. Since then, more and more women continue to join Bat-Kol, and as of July 2012, the organization numbers about three hundred women aged nineteen to sixty-plus. Bat-Kol has companies that have graduated from studios such as Kfar Pines and Tzvia, religious high schools such as Pelech, and graduates from the ultra-Orthodox education system. Some have started a lesbian family and are raising children with spouses, some are in the closet. These and those face the complexities of their choice.
    Spatial CoverageJerusalem
    Temporal Coverage21st Century
  • Judaism and Sexuality

    Judaism considers sex natural and holy, though not without boundaries. In the famous words of the Iggeret HaKodesh (The Holy Letter), a 13th-century treatise on sexuality often ascribed to Nahmanides, “One should know that sexual union is holy and pure when it is done as it should be, at the time it should be, and with proper intent.” Over the years, there have been different Jewish understandings of when, with whom and what proper intent entail.
    Spatial CoverageThe Internet
    Temporal Coverage21st Century
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