Because they want to.
- Jewish answer:
Because it's the religion of our ancestors, and because it is based upon Divine revelation to the entire assembled Israelite nation (Exodus ch.19).See also the Related Link.
The philosophy* of Judaism is that this world is a purposeful creation by God*, in which all people are tested concerning their use of free-will. We possess a soul which lives on after the body dies and is held responsible for the person's actions. Anyone who is worthy, Jewish or not, can merit reward in the afterlife.*See Related Links
Link: Judaism and philosophy
Link: The Creation
- Here is a list of the most basic beliefs of Judaism, as collated by Maimonides:
2. God is One and unique. This is the basis of all Western monotheistic belief, which was given to the world by Abraham and his descendants. This belief places God at the center of reality and of our world-outlook and thoughts.
Link: Biography of Abraham
3. God is not physical. This includes the corollary that no person should be worshiped as God or as a god. Judaism has no god-kings, no demigods, no angel who flouts God's will, and no sports-idols, movie-idols etc.
4. God is eternal. This includes the belief that God's ways are also eternal. God is not capricious, forgetful or fickle. Investing in a relationship with God is the only thing that will bear eternal benefits.
5. Prayer is to be directed only to God. This also teaches us that no person, government or institution is to be accorded blind trust. We pray directly to God, three times a day; and we recount our shortcomings, ask for our needs, and acknowledge our successes with happy thanks.
6. The words of the prophets are true. Link: About the Hebrew Prophets The prophecies of the Hebrew Bible have been coming true throughout history. Even secular archaeologists (the unbiased ones) have stated that the Hebrew Bible is the most accurate of historical records, as the disdainful theories of Wellhausen and Bible-critics of his ilk have been shattered by the archaeologist's spade. A list of Bible verses which were deemed anachronistic but later shown to be perfectly accurate would run into the many hundreds.
Link: Refuting theories of Bible-critics 7. The prophecies of Moses are true; and he was the greatest prophet.
8. The Torah was given to Moses by God. These two beliefs are the basis of our attitude towards the Torah: it is the center of our lives. Jews are keeping mitzvot (commands), saying blessings, praying, learning Torah and doing acts of kindness and charity all the time. The Torah is the single greatest thing that a Jew has; given to us to provide knowledge, guidance, inspiration, awe and reverence, advice, law, comfort, history and more. It is the basis of Judaism.
9. There will be no other Torah. We Jews have been around for 3800 years. New fads, manifestos, beliefs or lifestyles which rear their heads are met by the Jew with a calm, seasoned eye and the proverbial grain of salt. The Torah doesn't change; and every new thing can be measured against the Torah's standards.
10. God knows the thoughts and deeds of all. 11. God rewards the good and punishes the wicked. These two beliefs provide a vast incentive towards righteousness and, when needed, repentance. They also form part of the basis of our belief in the afterlife, since this entire world wouldn't be enough to reward a Moses or punish a Hitler. God is just (Deuteronomy 32:4); and all outstanding accounts are settled after this life.
12. The Messiah will come. 13. The dead will be resurrected. Judaism is the only ancient religion which taught optimism; and a large part of that optimism was and is based upon the words of the prophets.See also other Related Links.
Link: What do Jews believe God is like?
Link: Can you show that God exists
Link: The afterlife in Judaism
Link: How did the Hebrew Bible affect the Israelites?
Yes (Talmud, Berakhot 47b, and Keritut 9a).
See also the Related Link.
More about conversion
A synagogue can look like anything. The only thing that makes a room into a synagogue is Jewish people praying and a cabinet, called a holy ark, containing the Torah Scrolls.
At the front - where the rabbi and cantor and others stand, the "stage" or "altar", if you will - is called the bima (say beemah.) On the bima are one or more consoles large enough to hold the Torah when it is laid down to be read. There is also usually a special place where the Torah cover is placed while the Torah is open. At the rear of the bima, is the ark, which holds the Torah scrolls. Above the ark is the "eternal light", an artistic light which remains lit all the time.
Inside the Synagogue, it has The Ark, where the Torah Scrolls are kept. Above this is 2 plaques with the 10 Commandments on them and above it, it has the NER TAMID (Eternal Light, which never goes out, to show that God's light is always and forever shining). There are seats on some of the sides for the men and a gallery above these for women and children. in the centre of the room is the Bimah where the Torah scrolls will be read from so everyone can see the Rabbi and the Rabbi can see everyone. Finally there are the 7 branched Menorahs on either side of the Bimah.
In EVERY synagogue, there is a room ... sometimes referred to as the 'sanctuary' ... where community worship services are conducted. This is the only room that all synagogues have in common. Depending on the membership numbers and financial health of any given congregation, and the age and physical size of the synagogue, it may or may not also include one or more of the following:
-- second sanctuary, for services with smaller attendance
-- social hall
-- coat room
-- utility/storage room
-- Rabbi's office/study
-- children's playroom
The first-century Jewish religious leaders did not deny that the miracles occurred. Instead, they blasphemously tried to undermine faith in Jesus by attributing his power to Satan, saying: "This fellow does not expel the demons except by means of Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." (Matthew 12:24) And they as well as their followers generally refused to accept the miracles Jesus performed as proof that he was doing God's work. Instead, they found fault with him. (Mark 3:1-6)
Likewise, instead of rejoicing when Jesus' disciples cured people, the religious leaders "became filled with jealousy." (Acts 5:17)