Judaism 101

Answering Frequently Asked Questions about Jews and Judaism in plain English for a quarter of a century

Judaism 101 or "Jew FAQ" is an online encyclopedia of Judaism, covering Jewish beliefs, people, places, things, language, scripture, holidays, practices and customs, written from a traditional perspective in conversational language you can understand.

Month of ElulThe Month of Elul and Selichotsunset 27 Aug 2022 - 25 Sep 2022
The month of Elul is a time of repentance in preparation for the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The urgency grows as we reach Selichot toward the end of the month.
Shofar (Ram's Horn Trumpet)Rosh Hashanahsunset 25 Sep 2022 - nightfall 27 Sep 2022
The first day of the Jewish new year, when we renew the crowning of our Creator as sovereign of time and space with blasts of the shofar (ram's horn trumpet).
Hebrew Alphabet See illustrations of the letters and vowel points of the Hebrew alphabet in print, script and Rashi script. Learn the names and numerical values of the letters. Also discusses transliteration (writing Hebrew in English letters). Current Calendar
See the current Hebrew month and the upcoming two months with links to upcoming holidays and Torah readings.
Jewish Star What Do Jews Believe? Reviewing the 13 Principles of Faith that are widely-accepted as the core of Jewish belief. 613 Mitzvot (Commandments)
Judaism does not have 10 Commandments. It has 613 commandments that affect every aspect of our lives, the perfect religion for the obsessive-compulsive! This is a list of the 613 commandments based on the list by the medieval scholar Rambam (Maimonides).
Jewish Calendar
Learn about the Jewish calendar, its background and history, the numbering of Jewish years, the months of the Jewish year and the days of the Jewish week.
Rabbis, Priests, and Other Religious Functionaries
A rabbi is not a Jewish priest. Learn about the role of rabbis, chazzans (cantors), gabbais, kohanim (priests), Levites, rebbes and tzaddiks in Jewish life.
Shema The oldest fixed daily prayer in Judaism, recited morning and night since ancient times. See the full text in Hebrew, English and transliterated Hebrew.

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