|Fast Facts: Jewish Beliefs|
|Overview||One God: Yahweh (YHVH), who chose the people of Israel and who requires worship, ethical behavior, and rituals. A Messiah will come.|
|Creeds||13 Articles of Faith|
|Religious Authority||Bible, Talmud, halakhah|
|God(s)||One God: Yahweh (YHVH)|
|Human Nature||two equal impulses, one good and one bad|
|Meaning of Life||Obey God's commandments, live ethically. Focus is more on this life than the next.|
|Means of Salvation||belief in God, good deeds|
|Afterlife||Not emphasized; views vary: no afterlife, shadowy existence, World to Come (similar to heaven), Gehenna (similar to hell), reincarnation|
Aside from its staunch monotheism, Judaism has few essential beliefs.
Jewish identity arises primarily from belonging to an ancient people and upholding its traditions. Dogma, while important, is secondary.
Although the medieval thinker Rabbi Maimonides once enumerated "13 Articles of Faith," many Jews do not accept all these, and Jewish beliefs vary widely on theological matters such as human nature and the afterlife.