JewFAQ: Answering Jewish Frequently Asked Questions for more than two decades!

Magein David

Welcome to Judaism 101!

Judaism 101 is an online encyclopedia of Judaism, covering Jewish beliefs, people, places, things, language, scripture, holidays, practices and customs. My goal is to make freely available a wide variety of basic, general information about Judaism, written from a traditional perspective in plain English. This web site has grown continually for more than 10 years and continues to be updated periodically.

Chai (links to Hebrew Alphabet) The information in this site is written predominantly from the Orthodox viewpoint, because I believe that is a good starting point for any inquiry into Judaism. As recently as 300 years ago, this was the only Judaism, and it still is the only Judaism in many parts of the world. Be aware, however, that many Jews do not follow all of the traditions described here, or do not follow them in the precise form described here. The Conservative movement believes that these laws and traditions can change to suit the times, and Reform/Liberal/Progressive movements believe that individuals can make choices about what traditions to follow. However, what I present here is the starting point, the traditions that are being changed or chosen. On some pages, I have identified variations in practice or belief in other movements.

Dreidels (link to Jewish Holidays) Everything in this web site is free to use or distribute in any way, with three conditions: 1) if you use text, graphics or sound from this site, please credit this site; 2) do not redistribute this information for profit; 3) do not "mirror" this site or copy pages from this site for use on other web sites. For further details, please see my copyright page.

Where to Start

There are over eighty web pages on this site, comprising over 300 pages of text, a virtual book of information on Judaism. That's a lot of information! Where should you start? That depends on what you're looking for:

Just browsing?
If you're not sure what you're looking for, and you just want to see what's available on this site, look through the Table of Contents.
Looking for something specific?
If you are looking for something specific, I have a Search Engine for this site. Enter a term and it will search the glossary and index, giving you quick definitions and explanations, and pointing you to appropriate pages in this site.
Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced?
Torah Scroll Judaism 101 was originally created as an introduction to Judaism for people with little or no knowledge. But like the Passover seder, this site now includes information for the wise son, who wants to know the ritual details; the simple son, who asks simple questions; and the son who does not know what to ask (the wicked son can go someplace else <grin>). All pages are now labeled appropriately:
Basic: Things that every Jewish person should know, that require no prior knowledge
Intermediate: Beyond the basics
Advanced: More sophisticated concepts
Gentile: The minimal things that Jews expect gentiles to know. There is only one page in this category so far (about the holidays) but there may be one or two more in the future
Want to see what's new?
If you've been here before and just want to see what's new on the site, try the What's Nu? page, a chronological list of additions and significant changes to pages in this site.

© Copyright 5756-5779 (1995-2019), Tracey R Rich
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