Comparison chart

Baha'i versus Judaism comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartBaha'iJudaism
Place of worship "House of Worship" (i.e. Temple) or any other place. Synagogues, Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem
Practices Working in economy in service of people; and prayer, and fasting. "Feast" and Holy Day observances are practiced. All Baha'is teach the Faith and many participate in Study Circles in various locations throughout the world Prayers 3 times daily, with a fourth prayer added on Shabbat and holidays. Shacarit prayer in the morning, Mincha in the afternoon, Arvit at night; Musaf is an extra Shabbat service.
Place of origin Persia (Shiraz, Iran (by the Bab) and Tehran, Iran (private by Bahaullah)), and Baghdad, Iraq (public by Bahaullah). Buried in Israel. The Levant
Use of statues and pictures Baha'is do not pray to them. They do not have pictures of Baha'u'llah in their homes and can only see Him when they go on pilgrimage to Israel. Bahais do not worship names and attributes, but worship the Essence who is beyond understanding Ancient times: Not allowed as it is considered Idolatry. Today, great artwork is encouraged. Statues of people are fine, but not as religious icons.
Clergy Baha'is have no clergy and Baha'u'llah's writings may be seens as anti-clerical by blaming religious leaders to have always rejected the coming of the promised ones of their religions. Ancient times: Hereditary privileged priest class--Kohen and Levi. Present day: Religious functionaries like Rabbis, Cantors, Scribes, Mohels.
Life after death Unknown. Each person is on a continuum toward God, but no one knows for sure who's closer, not even Bahais. Baha'u'llah taught that the encounter with God promised in religions took place on earth with Baha'u'llah's appearance. World to come, Reincarnation (some groups); unifying with God, there are different opinions and beliefs
Belief of God One God who is beyond understanding and attributes (and even beyond existence itself). We know God only through His Manifestations (theism) and manifestations in creation (monism), though other methods of knowledge are also true. Relativity of truth. One God (monotheism), often called HaShem—Hebrew for 'The Name', or Adonai— 'The Lord'. God is the one True Creator. God has always existed, none existed before him and will exist forever. He transcends life and death.
Means of salvation Through God's Manifestations. Bahaullah says it is impossible to believe in Him and disobey His laws. Surprisingly, Bahaullah says no one knows his own end (i.e. whether one is saved or not). We must do our best to love and obey the Manifestation Through belief in God and Mitzvot (good deeds).
About Baha'i Faith believes in oneness, equality and unity of mankind, and has ushered in the Era of the unification of the world. Judaism is created by Abraham 2000 BCE and his descendants of Issac and Jacob. The Law: the 10 Commandments was given to Moses (and 600 000 Jews who left Egyptian slavery) in c, 1300 BCE to return to Israel and follow God's will.
Scriptures The "Kitab-i-Aqdas" is considered the central book. Over 100 volumes of scripture. Baha'u'llah was the only Manifestation to write with His own pen over 20,000 Tablets of scripture. Tanakh (Jewish Bible) , Torah.
Founder Baha'u'llah, and His Herald the Bab Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses
Human Nature Man is born in the image of perfection, with potential to exhibit all Divine attributes. We have free will to fulfill our potential. Bahaullah writes that man cannot be static, so if we are not progressing, then we must be regressing. You must choose good from bad. You are responsible for your actions, not thoughts.
Ressurection of Jesus Viewed metaphorically, rather than literally. Denied.
Second coming of Jesus Baha'u'llah is the return of Christ in the glory of the Father to Whom Jesus prayed from the Cross (i.e. Bahaullah is the coming of the Speaker on Mount Sinai). He is the Promised One of all major world religions for this day -- the Day of God Denied. (not part of liturgy)
God's role in salvation In this Era it is important that each person recognize Baha'u'llah. Although people can get to Heaven through other religions and Manifestations. Baha'i writings reject original sin. Divine revelation of God's law and to judge man's actions. Good deeds, and righteousness. Each New Year, during Yom Kippur, Jews fast and pray for forgiveness from God, and if accepted, are written into the Book of Life, for the next year.
Holy days 9 Holy Days.The Baha'i calendar consists of 19 months and 19 days to each month, with the left over days being the Baha'i gift giving and charity days of Ayyam-i-Ha. Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Tu BiShvat, Passover, Lag BaOmer, Shavout. Sabbath most important—one day a week no work, just peace, joy and prayer.
Goal of religion We are born to know, love, and worship God; and to recognize His Manifestation for our era (who in this day is Baha'u'llah). Baha'u'llah is the Promised One and Goal of religions. To celebrate LIFE! To fulfill the Covenant with God. Do good deeds. Help repair the world. Love God with all your heart. Strong social justice ethic.
Religious Law Baha'is have a book of laws they must follow, the "Most Holy Book" the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Halakhah. Ethics. Commandments. 613 mitzvahs to be followed. Charity. Prayer. Rabbinical rulings with minority opinions. Debate very important part of system. Debate is encouraged in schools. Part of Bible addresses specific laws for everyday life.
Birth of Jesus Jesus was a Manifestation of God known as the Spirit of God and the Word of God, and His Mother is believed to be pure and sinless. His birth revolutionized all creation. Was born normally to two normal parents
Geographical distribution and predominance Next to Christianity, the Baha'i Faith is the most widely diffused religion in the world. Existing in Israel for 1500 years, but the Romans in 70 AD kicked all Jews out. Jews are dispersed all over the world, at one time present in almost every country. Now the majority live in Israel, USA, Canada, Russia, France, England.
Marriage Laws are only applicable to Bahais. They're described in the Book of Aqdas. Non-Bahais are not required to follow any Bahai laws. Laws include parental consent, the right to choose partner, reading special verses, requirement of 2 Bahai witnesses, et Ancient times: unlimited polygamy with concubinage. In modern times, monogamy officially since 1310 AD.
Branches Universal House of Justice, Orthodox, Reform, Caravan of East & West, Religious: Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Renewel, Reconstruction. Traditions: Sephard, (Spain, Arab countries, Turkey). Ashkenazi: (Europe, Russia). MIzrachi: (Iraq, Persia, India).
Literal Meaning A Baha'i means one who is a follower of Baha (Glory/Splendor), or one who believes in "Baha" as the Greatest Name of God. "Baha" (Baha'u'llah) is believed to be that Glory that appeared to Moses and spoke to him on Mount Sinai. A Jew (Hebrew: יְהוּדִי, Yehudi (sl.); יְהוּדִים, Yehudim (pl.); Ladino: ג׳ודיו, Djudio (sl.); ג׳ודיוס, Djudios (pl.); Yiddish: ייִד, Yid (sl.); ייִדן, Yidn (pl.))[1] is a member of the Jewish people/ethnicity.
Death of Jesus When Jesus died the whole of creation was shaken and moved by His Salvific martyrdom and blood. Not mentioned in Jewish texts.
Promised Holy one. Belief in the future Coming of another Manifestation of God. Belief in the Coming of a Messiah.
Identity of Jesus A divine Manifestation of God. He embodied all of God's Attributes. He is regarded as the "Spirit of God" and the "Word of God". Bahaullah claims to be the Father of The Spirit of Christ. Simply not part of liturgy. Not mentioned one way or the other.
Offshoot religions N/A. Abrahamic religions -- Christianity and Islam.
Day of worship Every 19 days is a Feast Day, similar to Sunday for Christians. Feasts are conducted in various believers homes with a spiritual portion, a business portion and fellowship following it all. The Baha'is have their own calendar with Holy Days as well. Friday at sunset through Saturday sunset, is the Sabbath, THE most Holy Day (yes, all 52 of them). Taking time off from work, once a week, was invented by Judaism. It is more Holy than any other holiday, and is spent in contemplation and prayer.
Rites No mandatory rituals, but Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha gave Baha'is many instructions. Mitzvahs. Bar & Bat Mitvahs are the most well known, but, there are others too.
View of other Dharmic religions Moses, Abraham, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad and the Bab (a Twin Manifestation with Baha'u'llah and His Herald). N/A.
Abrahamic Lineage Abraham's sons by Keturah. The Bab was through Hagar. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are thanked every prayer day. Jacob's 12 sons became the 12 tribes of israel. Of these, 10 were lost during Assyrian Exile.
Legislation Universal House of Justice , in Haifa Israel. The UHJ decisions are without error. Prerogative of the people
View of other Abrahamic religions The Prophets of the Abrahamic religions are manifestations of God. The line of Abrahamic prophets are listed in the Bible and Quran. They all came to prepare mankind for the Day of God, the Encounter with God. Believe that Christians are wrong in believing that Jesus is the Messiah; they neither believe nor disbelieve that Muhammad and/or Bah-u-llah are prophets.
Population 8 million. But in another sense, all human beings are born Bahais whether they know it or not. Around 13-16 Million, debated. Population varies due to conversion (although some types are not recognized by the state of Israel) and "marrying out" (of the faith)
Followers Baha'is. Jews
Resurrection of Jesus Viewed as metaphorical, rather than literal. Although "miracles" do occur and are recorded for every Manifestation of God, they must be in accord with science. Simply not mentioned. not part of liturgy in Judaism. Considered authentic part of Christianity.
View of the Buddha A divine manifestation of God. N/A.
Goal of Philosophy To unite all religions into one. To live a proper and Holy Life. To appreciate Life in every way. To do Good Deeds. To live Ethically. To make choice based on Free Will. Universal Education for every Jew; to study, learn. read and write.
Views on the afterlife Heaven is closeness to God and Hell is remoteness from God or being cut off from Him. Jews beleive in a human Soul, and Orthodox believe in A World To Come and a form of Reincarnation. Differing beliefs accepted. Very little discussion on afterlife. Focus is on time on Earth now.
Status of Muhammad Seal of Prophets, Great and Last Messenger of God, Manifestation of God's attributes like the others. He is the Last Messenger of God before the coming of the Bab and then Bahaullah. N/A.
Jesus One of God's Divine Manifestations. A fellow Jew, a respected, learned scholar. Not mentioned in the Jewish texts.
View of other Oriental religions Believe that all religions should become one. N/A.
View of God One God who is beyond understanding and attributes. We know God only through His Manifestations and manifestations in creation. God is the one True Creator. God has always existed, none existed before him and will exist forever. He transcends life and death. God is one and the only holiness. God is the creator. He is beyond human understanding, he is omnipotent.
Place and Time of origin Persia. 1844 AD 1500 BC, Middle East. Religion formed over several centuries; was codified during the Babylonian exile. Literacy is encouraged to read Bible. Jews replaced animal sacrifice with prayer in Diaspora, after Romans destroyed Jerusalem Temple in 70 AD
Praying to Saints,Mary, and Angel Baha'is pray to God only, and God is unknowable in His Essence. N/A.
Original Language Persian and Arabic; Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice write in English. Hebrew has always been the central language of prayer. From 500 BCE, Aramaic and Greek koine and 'Aramized' Hebrew till 300 CE. Local languages and different extinct and living Jewish languages like Carfati, Yiddish, Ladino, Judesmo.
Concept of Deity God in His Essence is beyond oneness and even attributes. But His attributes are recognized in His Manifestations. God is unknowable so we can know of God only through the Manifestation. Baha'u'llah is the Appearance of God promised in all religions. Belief in one God and teachings of the tradition, prophets and rabbis.
Prophet All the Founders of the different world religions are Prophets. The cycle beginning with Adam ended with Muhammad as the Seal of Prophets, a new Cycle began with the Bab and Baha'u'llah that transcends Prophethood. Moses, Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, Elisha, etc.
View of Animistic religions Baha'is believe that all religions should unite and become one religion, but that they still worship the same one God. The earliest Jewish holidays correspond to agricultural seasons. Jews uniquely developed monotheism as a God of All. They were surrounded by pagen tribes who believed in gods based on their location, or nature.
Direction of Prayer None, Bahais pray in all directions as God is location-less. For obligatory Prayers, Bahais face the location of the temple (human body) of Promised One of all religions, Bahaullah, who is now buried in Bahji, Israel. Toward Jerusalem.
Authority of Dalai Lama N/A. N/A.
Principle All religions should become one world religion (unity in diversity), its better to have no religion than religion that leads to disagreement and war. Science and religion are both ways to understand. The Promised Time is Here. By accepting the covenant, they choose to follow God's commandments. A unique ethnicity. Early monotheists.
Status of Adam Adam symbolizes the first Manifestation of God sent to humanity. Another symbolism is that Adam represents the spirit of man and Eve represents the body of man. First known use of the Adam/Eve mythology.
Angels Angels are symbolic for stand-out human beings with great spiritual qualities. Angels serve God as messengers. World is full of beings existing that we cannot see or understand. Kabbalah includes mystical studies of this.
Time of origin 1844 AD. (Bab), 1852 AD. (private Bahaullah) and 1863 AD. (public Bahaullah) c 1300 BC
Status of women Equality of men and women. No veils nor inferior status as in other religions. Spirit of God is often embodied in a Female form in Bahai scriptures, with whom Bahaullah has mystical and spiritual bond. Equal to men in eyes of God and in the Law (Halakha). Woman traditionally have been granted more equal rights than most other world cultures. Today, traditions among the Orthodox and the Reform movements differ greatly.
Position of Abraham Ancestor of Bah-u-llah, by his second wife, Keturah, and Manifestation of God. The first patriarch and father of the Jewish religion. His father was an idol-maker but Abraham did not believe in idolatry or polytheism.
Authority of Pope Baha'u'llah wrote Tablets to the Pope, who is the representative of the majority of Christians of His time. Baha'u'llah announced Himself as the Promised One of Christianity to the Pope. N/A
Virtue on which religion is based upon Equality. Justice.
Promised Holy One Baha'u'llah The Messiah.
View on Abrahamic religions Believe that all religions should unite. Jews began Abrahamic religions. Christians share early prophets.The Koran also has renditions of these prophets. The New Testament can be viewed as written by Jews for the Jews of that time.
Geographical predominance Widespread across the globe. More than 2,100 different ethnic and tribal groups are represented. The Baha'i Faith is illegal and suppressed in most Middle Eastern countries. Israel, USA, Canada, France, England, Russia, Argentina. Has varied throughout history, Arabia, Persia, Babylonia, Rome, Greece, Ottoman Empire, Eastern Europe, due to various migrations and persecutions.
Status of Elohim One God. God
Clothes Encouraged to dress modestly so as not to become a toy for the perverse. Dress s left up to conscience of the people and according to customs of each culture. Jews wear skullcaps called kippot, or yarmulkes. In prayer, Men over 13 wear shawls, called Tallit, and during morning prayer, leather straps called Tefillin, which awaken the spiritual connection with God. Women cover their heads with a prayer shawl
What is it? Baha'is is the Abrahamic religion founded by Bah-u-llah, a descendant of Abraham's wife Keturah. Judaism is the Abrahamic religion of the Jewish people, based on principles and ethics embodied in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) and the Talmud (the great written opinions of the different rabbi's and intellectuals and holy men throughout the years)
War between two churches/ major sects The Universal House of Justice denomination denies there is any schism within Baha'i. However, there are Orthodox Baha'is, Reform Baha'is, etc. Different sects agree and differ with each other. There is room for debate with no violence. Orthodox and Reform Jews greatly dislike one another.
Concept of God Beyond understanding. One God who is beyond understanding and attributes. We know God only through His Manifestations and through all of creation (i.e. we know the Sun because of its light). One God
View of Oriental religions Baha'i is an Abrahamic religion, but, it believes that all religions should unite into one world religion. Jews accept others can have different religions. Jews must obey the law of the land, if ethical.
Views about other religions Sent by God to communities throughout the work in past times. The m

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