This article is about the Jewish religion. For consideration of ethnic, historic and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity, see Jews.
Judaism (from the Latin: Iudaismus, derived from the Greek , and ultimately from the Hebrew , Yehudah, “Judah”; in Hebrew: , Yahadut, the distinctive characteristics of the Judean ethnos) encompasses the religion, philosophy, culture and way of life of the Jewish people. Judaism is an ancient monotheistic religion, with the Torah as its foundational text (part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible), and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenantal relationship that God established with the Children of Israel.
Judaism includes a wide corpus of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. Within Judaism there are a variety of movements, most of which emerged from Rabbinic Judaism, which holds that God revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of both the Written and Oral Torah. Historically, this assertion was challenged by various groups such as the Sadducees and Hellenistic Judaism during the Second Temple period; the Karaites and Sabbateans during the early and later medieval period; and among segments of the modern reform movements. Liberal movements in modern times such as Humanistic Judaism may be nontheistic. Today, the largest Jewish religious movements are Orthodox Judaism (Haredi Judaism and Modern Orthodox Judaism), Conservative Judaism and Reform Judaism. Major sources of difference between these groups are their approaches to Jewish law, the authority of the Rabbinic tradition, and the significance of the State of Israel. Orthodox Judaism maintains that the Torah and Jewish law are divine in origin, eternal and unalterable, and that they should be strictly followed. Conservative and Reform Judaism are more liberal, with Conservative Judaism generally promoting a more “traditional” interpretation of Judaism’s requirements than Reform Judaism. A typical Reform position is that Jewish law should be viewed as a set of general guidelines rather than as a set of restrictions and obligations whose observance is required of all Jews. Historically, special courts enforced Jewish law; today, these courts still exist but the practice of Judaism is mostly voluntary. Authority on theological and legal matters is not vested in any one person or organization, but in the sacred texts and rabbis and scholars who interpret them.
Judaism claims a historical continuity spanning more than 3,000 years. Judaism has its roots as a structured religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Of the major world religions, Judaism is considered one of the oldest monotheistic religions. The Hebrews / Israelites were already referred to as “Jews” in later books of the Tanakh such as the Book of Esther, with the term Jews replacing the title “Children of Israel”. Judaism’s texts, traditions and values strongly influenced later Abrahamic religions, including Christianity, Islam and the Baha’i Faith. Many aspects of Judaism have also directly or indirectly influenced secular Western ethics and civil law.
The Jews are an ethnoreligious group and include those born Jewish and converts to Judaism. In 2012, the world Jewish population was estimated at about 14 million, or roughly 0.2% of the total world population. About 42% of all Jews reside in Israel and about 42% reside in the United States and Canada, with most of the remainder living in Europe, and other minority groups spread throughout the world in South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia.
Unlike other ancient Near Eastern gods, the Hebrew God is portrayed as unitary and solitary; consequently, the Hebrew God’s principal relationships are not with other gods, but with the world, and more specifically, with the people He created. Judaism thus begins with ethical monotheism: the belief that God is one and is concerned with the actions of humankind. According to the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), God promised Abraham to make of his offspring a great nation. Many generations later, he commanded the nation of Israel to love and worship only one God; that is, the Jewish nation is to reciprocate God’s concern for the world. He also commanded the Jewish people to love one another; that is, Jews are to imitate God’s love for people. These commandments are but two of a large corpus of commandments and laws that constitute this covenant, which is the substance of Judaism.
Thus, although there is an esoteric tradition in Judaism (Kabbalah), Rabbinic scholar Max Kadushin has characterized normative Judaism as “normal mysticism”, because it involves everyday personal experiences of God through ways or modes that are common to all Jews. This is played out through the observance of the Halakha and given verbal expression in the Birkat Ha-Mizvot, the short blessings that are spoken every time a positive commandment is to be fulfilled.
Whereas Jewish philosophers often debate whether God is immanent or transcendent, and whether people have free will or their lives are determined, Halakha is a system through which any Jew acts to bring God into the world.
Ethical monotheism is central in all sacred or normative texts of Judaism. However, monotheism has not always been followed in practice. The Jewish Bible (Tanakh) records and repeatedly condemns the widespread worship of other gods in ancient Israel. In the Greco-Roman era, many different interpretations of monotheism existed in Judaism, including the interpretations that gave rise to Christianity.
Moreover, as a non-creedal religion, some have argued that Judaism does not require one to believe in God. For some, observance of Jewish law is more important than belief in God per se. In modern times, some liberal Jewish movements do not accept the existence of a personified deity active in history.
Judaism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Formed c. 2000 B.C.E. Origin Canaan Followers 14,000,000 Deity God (monotheistic) Sacred Texts Torah, Tanakh (Hebrew scriptures), Talmud Headquarters None
Judaism is a religious tradition with origins dating back nearly four thousand years, rooted in the ancient near eastern region of Canaan (which is now Israel and Palestinian territories). Originating as the beliefs and practices of the people known as “Israel,” classical, or rabbinic, Judaism did not emerge until the 1st century C.E. Judaism traces its heritage to the covenant God made with Abraham and his lineage that God would make them a sacred people and give them a holy land. The primary figures of Israelite culture include the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophet Moses, who received God’s law at Mt. Sinai. Judaism is a tradition grounded in the religious, ethical, and social laws as they are articulated in the Torah the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Jews refer to the Bible as the Tanakh, an acronym for the texts of the Torah, Prophets, and Writings. Other sacred texts include the Talmud and Midrash, the rabbinic, legal, and narrative interpretations of the Torah. The contemporary branches of Judaism differ in their interpretations and applications of these texts. The four main movements within Judaism today are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist, respectively ranging from traditional to liberal to religiously progressive in their application of Torah. While diverse in their views, Jews continue to be unified on the basis of their common connection to a set of sacred narratives expressing their relationship with God as a holy people. Judaism tends to emphasize practice over belief. Jewish worship is centered in synagogues, which completely replaced the Second Temple after its destruction in 70 C.E. Jewish religious leaders are called rabbis, who oversee the many rituals and ceremonies essential to Jewish religious practice.
Quick Fact Details:
Quick Fact Sources include http://www.adherents.com, http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion, The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions (2006), The Encyclopedia of Religion (2005), the Religious Movements Page at the University of Virginia, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Religions (2002), and the Encyclopedia of World Religions (1999).
Judaism Origins, Judaism History, Judaism Beliefs
Leo Frank taken from the Tower to the Coroner’s Inquest, Atlanta, Georgian, Monday, May 5, 1913, on the left is Chief of Detectives Lanford and on the right (image cut out) is Chief BeaversThe procedural machinations of the official Mary Phagan murder investigation wasted no time in efforts regarding uncovering the material circumstances of the crime.
The Coroner’s Inquest
Presided over by the Fulton County Coroner Paul V. Donehoo were a half-petite jury of prominent men from the community, who opened the coroner’s inquest investigation on Wednesday morning, April 30, 1913.
The coroner’s inquest began shortly after nine o’clock after the jury was sworn under oath. The empaneled tribunal in total consisted of seven men (1 + 6), the coroner and six inquest jurymen: (1.) H. Ashford, foreman, (2.) Glenn Dewberry, (3.) J. Hood, (4.) C. Langford, (5.) John Miller, (6.) C. Sheats, (7.) Judge of the Inquest Jury, The Fulton County Coroner, Paul Donehoo.
Within the two cross-examination sessions of Leo Frank, he was very specific that he did not use the second floor bathroom ALL DAY
when he testified under oath at the coroner’s inquest — not that he didn’t remember — but that he DID NOT USE the bathroom on April 26, 1913. He appeared to be distancing himself (verbally and mentally) from the bathroom area of the second floor, which was located in the metal room. There were no other bathrooms on the second floor of the National Pencil Company, except in the metal room (Defendent’s Exhibit 61). This was thought of as a throw-away detail until it became a link in the case.
Caught in a Lie: The Perjury of Lemmie A. Quinn
A controversial new development occurred concerning Leo M. Frank’s murder timeline alibi about him never leaving his office on April 26, 1913, between noon and 12:45 p.m. Leo Frank said he had forgotten for the first week of the murder investigation to bring forward Lemmie A. Quinn, foreman of the metal room, a key witness at the coroner’s inquest and later at the Frank trial. He was criminally impeached during the appeals after the revelation that he was offering bribes to witnesses to change their stories. At the coroner’s inquest, Lemmie Quinn came forward to provide testimony that sounded contrived and did not pass the common sense test.
Quinn told the coroner’s inquest jury, he had went back to the pencil factory and specifically into Leo M. Frank’s office at 12:20 to 12:25 to talk about a baseball bet with Mr. Herbert George Schiff, but Schiff was not supposed to be at the factory at all that day because it was a state holiday and everyone was given the day off.
Herbert G. Schiff later prided himself at the Leo Frank trial for never missing a day of work in five years (BOE, Herbert Schiff, 1913) except once unintentionally during a disastrous flood. Leo Frank gave the false impression that Schiff missed work that day to support the Quinn appearance.
Several employees close to Leo Frank would later provide a cacophony of contradictory information about Schiff.The young Herbert G. Schiff became the superintendent at the NPCo after Leo Frank.If Lemmie Quinn was at the NPCo factory on Confederate Memorial Day, Saturday, April 26, 1913, at 12:20 p.m., asking Leo Frank, “Where is Herbert G. Schiff?” and intimating he had not come to work yet, the average person in 1913 was sarcastically asking why Herbert Schiff was NOT at work on a state holiday in the shuttered factory?
The coroner’s inquest jury saw right through it, and ostensibly the falsified testimony of Quinn was meant to shrink the plausible time Leo M. Frank would have to bludgeon, rape, and strangle Mary Phagan by fifteen minutes from formerly 12:02 p.m. to 12:35 p.m., to 12:02 p.m. to 12:19 p.m. However, the importance of Lemmie A. Quinn’s manufactured testimony was it added eyewitness testimony strength to Leo Frank’s alibi that he never left his office from at least noon to 12:35 p.m.
Lemmie Quinn’s perjury shrunk Leo M. Frank’s unaccounted time on that fateful Saturday, but it still left the time frame Mary Phagan arrived at Frank’s office wide open and unaccounted for.
Three Separate and Distinct Mary Phagan Arrival Times Would Later Become Four
According to Leo Frank:
1. Mary Phagan arrived in his second-floor business office at 12:03 p.m. on April 26, 1913–this information was given to detectives on Sunday, April 27, 1913, in Leo Frank’s office.
2. Mary Phagan arrived in his second-floor business office at “12:05 pm and 12:10 p.m., maybe 12:07 p.m.” according to Leo Frank in State’s Exhibit B, given to the police on Monday, April 28, 1913.
3. Mary Phagan arrived in his second-floor business office at 12:10 p.m. on April 26, 1913–Frank gave this information at the coroner’s inquest.
At the time of the coroner’s inquest, Leo Frank had provided three different times that Mary Phagan had arrived in his office.
Conclusion of the Coroner’s Inquest and Jury
Coroner Paul Donehoo and his inquest jury of six men empaneled, questioned over one hundred factory employees and dozens of other various associated people.
The coroner’s inquest combed through the factory to examine the layout and permutations of the murder.
The weeklong inquest and testimony provided under oath left strong suspicion directed upon Leo M. Frank when Thursday, May 8, 1913, the Mary Phagan Inquest drew to a close.
At 6:30 p.m., the jury went into executive session to hear the testimony of Dr. J. W. Hurt, county physician, on the what had happened to Mary Phagan shortly before her death and what was the likely cause. The doctor addressed the jury for twenty minutes.
Donehoo convened to hear the jury findings:
“We, the coroner’s jury, empaneled and sworn by Paul Donehoo, coroner of Fulton County, to inquire into the death of Mary Phagan, whose dead body now lies before us, after having heard the evidence of sworn witnesses, and the statement of Dr. J. W. Hurt, County Physician, find that the deceased came to her death from strangulation. We recommend that Leo M. Frank and Newt Lee be
held under charges of murder for further investigation by the Fulton County grand jury.
Homer C. Ashford, Foreman
Dr. J. W. Hurt, County Physician”
Coroner and Inquest Jury Verdict: The Coroner Approved the Unanimous Finding of the Inquest Jury
The coroner and his inquest jury of six men together voted unanimously 7 to 0 recommending Leo M. Frank be bound over for murder and investigated further by a grand jury of twenty-three men, which ironically included four Jews.
Coroner Paul Donehoo ordered that Leo Frank be bound over for murder and Newt Lee was to be held as a material witness.
Still yet to be uncovered was who wrote the murder notes that appeared to be written by a Negro in Ebonics.
Police Delivered the News to Leo Frank and Newt Lee
Deputy Plennie Minor delivered the unanimous verdict of the coroner’s inquest jury to Leo M. Frank, who was being held in the infamous Atlanta Police Tower. Frank was sitting perusing a local daily newspaper, Atlanta Constitution, May 8, 1913, at the time at the time of the message. When Deputy Plennie Minor approached Leo M. Frank and told him about the unanimous verdict of the inquest jury, which had ordered that Frank be held for murder and for a more thorough investigation by the grand jury.
Newt Lee slumped his head dejectedly when the bad news was delivered to him. However, Leo Frank insolently replied that it was no more than he had expected and continued crackling away and folding the big sheets of his newspaper.
In total, more than two hundred witnesses, factory workers, and affiliates had been subpoenaed providing sworn testimony at the Inquest.
What stood out the most from all the inquest testimony was that Leo Frank specified he never went to the bathroom that day, and he held onto that position for 3.5 months until he made a startling revelation during his trial on August 18, 1913.Left Detective John R. Black, on the Right Pinkerton Detective Harry K. Scott, Center Bottom Newton “Newt” Lee
One can’t help but wonder if the grand jury transcript was also purged in an effort to expunge some interesting testimony that led to the unanimous indictment of Leo Frank by twenty-one jurors, including four Jews.
The ace up Dorsey’s sleeve for the grand jury investigation, Monteen Stover.
NEXT: Leo Frank Grand Jury Indictment on Saturday, May 24, 1913.
Atlanta Georgian Newspaper Coverage of the Mary Phagan Murder Investigation, Coroner’s Inquest Testimony of Leo Frank, May, 5, 8, 1913: http://leofrank.org/library/atlanta-georgian/.
The Frank Case (1913). The Inside Story of Georgia’s Greatest Murder Mystery. Atlanta Publishing Company, Atlanta, GA. The first book ever published on the Leo Frank case. http://leofrank.org/library/frank-case.pdf.
May 1, 1913, Mary Phagan and Leo Frank Coroner’s Inquest, Atlanta Constitution: http://www.leofrank.org/library/atlanta-journal-constitution/frank-tried-to-flirt-with-murdered-girl-says-her-boy-chum-may-1-1913.pdf.
May 9, 1913, Atlanta Constitution.
Atlanta Constitution, The Second Coroner’s Inquest Session,