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The various teachings of Judaism have often been regarded as specifications of the central idea of monotheism.One God, the creator of the world, has freely elected the Jewish people for a unique covenantal relationship with himself.In their encounter with the great civilizations, from ancient Babylonia and Egypt to Western Christendom and modern secular culture, they have assimilated foreign elements and integrated them into their own social and religious systems, thus maintaining an unbroken religious and cultural tradition.Furthermore, each period of Jewish history has left behind it a specific element of a Judaic heritage that continued to influence subsequent developments, so that the total Jewish heritage at any given time is a combination of all these successive elements along with whatever adjustments and accretions have occurred in each new age.
It is this particular claim—to have experienced God’s presence in human events—and its subsequent development that is the differentiating factor in Jewish thought.
This one and only God has been affirmed by virtually all professing Jews in a variety of ways throughout the ages.
Jewish monotheism has had both universalistic and particularistic features.
Israel’s role in the divine economy and thus Israel’s particular culpability were dominant themes sounded against the motif of fulfillment, the ultimate triumph of the divine purpose, and the establishment of divine sovereignty over all humankind.
In nearly 4,000 years of historical development, the Jewish people and their religion have displayed a remarkable adaptability and continuity.