The concept of religion has always been full of perplexity. With new religions taking birth at a rapid pace, people tend to get confused at the drop of a hat.
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One such confusion that often baffles us and appears to be strikingly similar is Hinduism and Judaism. Although being the oldest religions they seem to be the same, they are completely and intrinsically different in every way.
Hinduism vs Judaism
The main difference between Hinduism and Judaism is that Hinduism is followed by Hindus all over the world but peculiarly by the people in the Indian subcontinent as India is the birthplace of Hinduism, while Judaism is followed avidly by the Jewish civilization and its origin goes deep in the Middle East.
Hinduism is considered the oldest religion in the world and is almost 5000 years old. Hinduism practically has no pioneer personality still is one of the widest accepted religions which is now followed by millions of followers.
Hinduism is not a monotheistic religion as the followers worship numerous gods including Bramha, Vishnu, Shiva, and many more.
Judaism is keenly followed by the Jewish civilization. Judaism originated in Israel and has evolved from the religion in Israel and Judah.
The Jews refer to Israel as the ‘land of forefathers’. Jews consider the founder of Judaism as Abraham. It majorly comprises various texts, scriptures which are to date followed by the Jews.
Comparison Table Between Hinduism and Judaism
|Parameters of Comparison||Hinduism||Judaism|
|Origin||India-Hindus||Israel/ Middle East-Jews|
|Age of Origin||3000BCE||1300BCE|
|Belief in Angels/ Prophets||No||Yes|
|Religious Scripture||Bhagavad Gita, Vedas||Torah, Tanakh|
|Belief in Reincarnation||Yes||Yes|
What is Hinduism?
As mentioned above, Hinduism is a widely accepted and oldest religion followed by billions of populations currently- referred to as Hindus.
Hinduism is often quoted as the ‘Santana Dharma’ in Sanskrit which translates to ‘Eternal or immortal Dharma’ stating that Hinduism never originated from a sole follower and has ancient historical roots.
Hinduism contemplates a tremendous amount of Vedic scriptures, yogic scriptures, rituals. Hinduism was the pioneer of the temple building, statue worshipping ritual.
The Bhagavad Gita- the official scripture of Hinduism guides one to lead a life peacefully- following Ahimsa and preaches numerous values, ethics, thus guiding a Hindu to be a better person.
Although Hinduism originated in the Indian subcontinent it is currently widely accepted in every part of the world including Mauritius, Nepal, Bali, Indonesia, etc.
Aforementioned, Hinduism is polytheistic- as the Hindus worship a countless number of gods.
Although they consider Brahma as the creator of the universe, every god in Hinduism possesses their significance like Vishnu- preserver of the universe, Shiva (Supreme God)- creator, transformer, and destroyer of the universe, and so on.
Hindus intensely believe and follow the concept of Karma- that is ‘what goes around, comes around’. They strongly believe that whatever sins they commit in their life will come back to bite them during death.
Hindus carry a primary goal- to be one with their god- the creator-Bramha. They suppose that if they sin, they might not unite with their god; thus, they usually refrain from committing any wrongdoings, fearing and respecting their god.
The religious scripture of Hindus- Bhagavad Gita is proved to be written by the Hindu God Krishna during the Mahabharata. Along with Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu scriptures also encompasses Vedas, Upanishads, Agamas, etc.
Hinduism also pursues caste and sub-caste system; thus, you can observe and perceive various sub-castes in India and they differ within their states but most of them follow the same god and scriptures.
What is Judaism?
As mentioned above, Judaism is practiced and preached majorly by the Jews in Israel. Jews predominantly are monotheistic; that is, they believe that there exists only one God, only one creator.
They strongly believe that God revealed himself to Abraham who is now considered as the pioneer of their religion.
Just like any other religion Judaism also has its religious scriptures, for example, Tanakh is referred to as the Jewish Bible, while Torah is considered as their original ancient religious scripture/ text.
The Jews strongly believe in Angels and refer to them as the messenger of God not visible to humans.
Judaism does not follow the concept of the Caste system or Caste discrimination. This stands out from other religions. The Judaism texts and scriptures influenced Christianity and Islam later on.
Presently, Judaism is followed by many countries including Canada, the United States, Egypt. But major settlements are in Europe.
Judaism prohibits statue worshipping as they believe a person can become one with the god only after leaving certain physical possessions.
The Jewish/Judaism laws are usually referred to as Halakhas and these laws are typically followed by most of the Jews.
Recently, numerous Religious Movements have categorized Judaism into 3 major movements-Orthodox Judaism, Conservative Judaism, Reform Judaism.
Orthodox Judaism follows the Halakhas strictly and the laws are unchangeable while Conservative and Reform Judaism are comparatively lenient and liberal.
Jews firmly believe in life after death and they usually don’t grief over death as they have a conviction that life and death are a part and parcel of life and it is all God’s plan.
Judaism is often referred to as an Ethnoreligious group that is they carry and pursue both ethnic and religious background and beliefs.
Culturally they have principles of decent and modest dressing, prayers, temples; all these factors led to Judaism being one of the most widely accepted and followed religions.
Main Differences Between Hinduism and Judaism
- Hinduism is polytheistic while Judaism is predominantly monotheistic.
- Hinduism has numerous religious scriptures, while Judaism primarily has Tanakh and Torah.
- Hinduism worships cows and focuses on the beef ban, on the other hand, Judaism focuses on the pork ban.
- Hinduism practices yoga to unite mind and soul while Judaism has no such practice.
- Hinduism promotes statue worshipping, in contrast, Judaism strictly prohibits statue worshipping.
- Hinduism has no pioneer to their religion, whereas Judaism considers Abraham as their pioneer.
- Hinduism promotes Caste System, on the other hand, Judaism prohibits Caste and Sub-Caste categorization.
From the aforementioned points, it is comprehensible that Hinduism and Judaism are fundamentally different even though they appear to be strikingly similar.
Barring the differences, they also carry some cultural similarities like dressing and regular prayers in temples and other worshipping areas. Hinduism being older than Judaism is more prominent and followed than Judaism.
Both Hinduism and Judaism ultimately help the pursuers to transform into better people and at the same time respect other religions.
Both of these religions focus on giving importance to family life and passing on the knowledge and rituals, practices to the next generation.
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