From ArticleWorld

A number of characteristics identify Judaism. Judaism is a monotheistic religion, which means that its practitioners believe in only one God. The concept of monotheism makes the religion appeal more personal to Jews, according to some proponents. The Torah gives specific rules or commandments to be followed by the Jews. These are called the Ten Commandments.

Principles of the Jewish faith

Judaism has no particular creed or dogma, but does have specific principles of faith. Practices and traditions are as important as religious beliefs. Observing traditional customs are mandatory, also. For instance, not believing in the Torah's divine origin would make a person a heretic.

Maimonides' thirteen principles of faith are considered the authoritative list of principles for Judaism. Briefly, in these principles, God is one god, who created the universe, and is all powerful, all knowing, and who has different names to express Gods various roles in the world. God is not physical, has no body, and is eternal. Any reference to God with a body in the Hebrew Bible is a metaphor. There is also no intermediary between man and God, therefore one prays to God alone. The Hebrew Bible is the available to humankind through divine revelation. Moses was the chief of the prophets to whom the Hebrew scriptures were revealed, and all of the words of all of the prophets are true. God rewards those who do good by following his commands, and punishes those who do not. God's commands can be found in the Torah, which is the most important text of Judaism. Also, God chose the Jews to be in a special relationship or covenant with him. The final three concepts that make up the principles of Judaism are belief in a Jewish Messiah, the belief that people have free will to choose to do both good and evil, and that prayer and repentance can atone for one's sins.