Judaism And Hinduism

Judaism and Hinduism are two of the oldest religions in the world. Recently, Jewish and Hindu communities started to interact more closely. One of the most significant results of this relationship is a successful economic partnership between India and Israel. The establishment of this amicable and lucrative relationship was possible because these two deeply religious communities were able to see that the similarities in their faith outweigh the differences.

Main difference between these religions lies in the fact that Judaism is monotheistic, while Hinduism has the elements of monotheism and polytheism. Hindus believe that every deity is a manifestation of some traits of the highest deity. Jews recognize and worship only one God. There is also a serious conflict born from idolization that causes a great deal of animosity between the more fanatical representatives of these religions. Hinduism allows worship of statues, and other objects that are believed to have divine powers. Jews see this as a sin and often cannot accept those who support the belief that goes directly against their own faith. On the other hand, Hinduism is much more tolerant of other religions and Hindus mostly have no problem respecting the beliefs foreign to them personally. The fact that objects of worship differ greatly from one local community to another is responsible for this incredibly high level of tolerance.

One of the most prominent similarities between Hinduism and Judaism is the caste system. Although castes themselves are different, their existence as well as the presence of a distinguished caste of priests set them aside from other religions. Some of the legends from the holy scriptures of Judaism and Hinduism are very alike and even share some linguistic similarities. Both religions also see Tora and Veda, their respective sacred scriptures, as paradigmatic signs of their traditions.

Cultural traditions of Judaism and Hinduism are also similar. Both require modest dress and put great emphasis on family. They have strict dietary laws and special language restricted to prayers. Meditation, the technique that plays an extremely important part in Hindu rituals, is not foreign to Jews. This is one of the reasons why representatives of both religions can pray together. However, some Hindu mantras can be offensive to Jews. This consideration must be taken into account when organizing interreligious events.

Jews and Hindus have many things in common. Their religions differ in understanding the very concept of God and worship. However, there are so many similarities between the philosophical and cultural elements of these religions that their representatives can happily coexist in the world and even within one family.v

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