Comparison chart

Jainism versus Judaism comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartJainismJudaism
JainismJudaism
Place of worship Temple Synagogues, Western Wall of the Temple in Jerusalem
Place of origin India. The Levant
Practices Five vows of Truth, Non-violence, Non-stealing, Non-attachment, control over desires and senses. Greater emphasis on non-violence and truth. Also follow 3 jewels of Right Perception, Right Knowledge and Right Conduct 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.
Use of statues and pictures Common. Ancient times: Not allowed as it is considered Idolatry. Today, great artwork is encouraged. Statues of people are fine, but not as religious icons.
Founder Rishabhdev- 1st Tirthankar in this era, Further revived by Vardhaman Mahavir- 24th and final Tirthankar of this era Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses
Belief of God Jainism does not believe in a Creator God. Only one God (monotheism). God is the one True Creator. God has always existed, none existed before him and will exist forever. He transcends life and death.
Clergy Monks, nuns. Ancient times: Hereditary privileged priest class--Kohen and Levi. Present day: Religious functionaries like Rabbis, Cantors, Scribes, Mohels.
Life after death Until liberation is achieved, circle of rebirths and deaths continue due to Karma via incarnations in any life form on earth, as also heavenly and hellish life forms. World to come, Reincarnation (some groups); unifying with God, there are different opinions and beliefs
Goal of religion To gain liberation and be released from cycle of rebirths, adopt a path of non-violence towards all living beings. 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.
Human Nature Human suffering is due to negative effects of bad karma and excessive attachment to material aspects of world. You must choose good from bad. You are responsible for your actions, not thoughts.
Literal Meaning To become a Jina (liberated soul) by following the teachings of 24 Tirthankars (ford-makers/teachers) 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.
Means of salvation Goal is to unshackle the soul from bondages of karma which results in misery due to many rebirths and deaths. Once soul is freed from these bondages, it achieves Nirvana and becomes perfect soul free from all attachments, in an eternal blissful state Through belief in God, good deeds, complete faith.
Holy days/Official Holidays Paryushan festival Sabbath, Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah, Chanukah, Tu BiShvat, Purim, Passover, Lag BaOmer, Shavout. Holidays given by God or historical events, Israeli holidays. Holocaust remembrance.
Marriage Marriage is a social convention and not linked to religion. But followers must strictly follow monogamy. Monks, though have renounced material world, hence strictly follow celibacy. Ancient times: unlimited polygamy with concubinage. In modern times, monogamy officially since 1310 AD.
Original Language(s) Ancient texts were written in various languages, predominantly in Magadhi, language prevalent at time of Mahavir and Buddha. Hebrew. Every word has a 3 letter root word. Yiddish: part Hebrew, part German/East European language. Sephardic: part Hebrew, part Arabic language.
About Following the teachings of Mahavira. 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.
Followers Jains. Jews
View of other Dharmic religions Comradeship with other Dharmic religions. N/A.
View of the Buddha Buddha is considered as contemporary of Mahavir N/A.
Scriptures Religious scriptures called Agamas. Many other canonical texts. Tanakh (Jewish Bible) , Torah.
Day of worship No particular time although morning is preferred for any rites. 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.
Second coming of Jesus Jains believe in pluralism, that is, truth has multiple view points. Thus it is accomodating of other religions' views. Not part of liturgy.
Original Languages Possibly Sanskrit. Hebrew common till 500 BCE, Aramaic and Greek koine till 300 CE. Hebrew always for religious services. Local languages and different extinct and living Jewish languages like Carfati, Jiddish, Ladino, Judesmo etc
Ressurection of Jesus NA Denied
Symbols Swastika(used it long before it became a symbol for antisemitism). Star of David, Menorah.
Use of Statues Used often. Forbidden to use in religion
Names of God 24 Tirthankars, besides some celestial beings are worshipped as Demi Gods though they are not liberated from cycle of rebirths. HaShem, Adonai,
Status of Muhammad NA N/A.
Offshoot religions No Abrahamic religions -- Christianity and Islam.
Rites Generally common. Mitzvahs. Bar & Bat Mitvahs are the most well known, but, there are others too.
Position of Mary NA Not applicable, as Jews do not believe that Jesus is their Messiah, and therefore, his Jewish mother plays no role in the Jewish religion other than history.
Use of statues, images Permitted. Forbidden
Goal of Philosophy Jainism is a way of life, adhere to teachings of Tirthankars, respect all life forms and end goal is to achieve Nirvana. 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.
Legislation Teachings of Tirthankar and if any dispute arises, monastical help is sought mainly as guidance. No rigid legislation. Prerogative of the people
Authority of Dalai Lama N/A. N/A.
Identity of Jesus N/A. Simply not part of liturgy. Not mentioned one way or the other.
imams identified as Not relevant N/A.
Birth of Jesus Not relevant Normal man, normal birth. Not part of liturgy.
Views on other religion Belief in pluralism and accomodating multiple view points of all religions. Judaism is the chosen faith, however, others are good too, provided that they follow Noahide Laws.
Religion which atheists may still be adherents of Yes. Jains do not believe in the idea of a Creator God. The laws revolve around Karma. Good Karma lead to spiritual elevation and bad Karma and bad deeds to decline. Yes, since Judaism emphasizes Deed over Creed; Many Jews profess to be atheists, and are committed and proud to be Jews.
Definition Teachings of Tirthankars Of the tribe of Judah.
Population 50-60 million 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)
Death of Jesus N/A. Not mentioned in Jewish texts.
Place and Time of origin Very ancient, origin obscure dating many millenia 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
Resurrection of Jesus N/A. Simply not mentioned. not part of liturgy in Judaism. Considered authentic part of Christianity.
Marriage and Divorce Marriage is individual preference but monogamy must be observed. Though divorce is generally discouraged, modern day Jainism allows separation if differences are vast. Monogamous. Marriage permitted.
Virtue on which religion is based upon Ahimsa (meaning non-violence, or pacifism). Justice.
Saints 24 Tirthankars who revive religion in different eras. Jewish holy figures are known as Tzaddics.
Jesus N/A A fellow Jew, a respected, learned scholar. Not mentioned in the Jewish texts.
Praying to Saints, Mary, and Angel N/A. Jews only pray to God. They do not need Rabbis to pray. Each Jew can pray directly to God whenever he or she wants to.
sects Digambara, Svetambara Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Sephardim, Karaite, Samaritan, and so on.
Direction of Prayer Irrelevant Toward Jerusalem.
Position of Abraham N/A Father of Jewish Nation. From city of Ur. His father was an idol maker, but when he broke an idol, his father told him not to worry, the statue was not God Travelled to what is today Israel & purchased land. He found God during his travels in dessert
Abrahamic Lineage N/A. 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.
Authority of Pope Not relevant N/A
View on Abrahamic religions Pluralism 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.
Status of Elohim No belief in Creator God God
Virtue(s) on which religion is based upon Pacifism. Justice
Virtues in which religion is based upon Ahimsa(Pacifism). Justice, faithfulness, charity, modesty, Tikkun Olam (improving the world), mitzvot (good deeds, following God's law), Love of the creations. Ethics. Social Justice. Intellectual discussions, and study.
Principle Respect all living things. Attain liberation by avoiding and shedding of bad karma which is the cause of rebirths and all sufferings. Five vows and three jewels. By accepting the covenant, they choose to follow God's commandments. A unique ethnicity. Early monotheists.
View of God Numerous deities. 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.
Status of women Women can become nuns. 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.
War between two churches/ major sects All sects co-exist harmoniously and in peace Different sects agree and differ with each other. There is room for debate with no violence. Orthodox and Reform Jews greatly dislike one another.
Three Jewels Right perception, right knowledge, right conduct Torah, People, Land, Law. love God.
Concept of Deity Numerous deities known as Tirthenkaras. But Jains do not worship them in literal sense of idol worship to ask favors. Rather, these Tirthankars are venerated as ideal Men and teachers whose teachings should be followed. Belief in one God and teachings of the tradition, prophets and rabbis.
Concept of God No creator God. Rather, Godliness is the inherent quality of any soul characterizing infinite bliss, power, Perfect knowledge and perfect Peace. One who achieves this state by breaking bonds of Karma and liberation from rebirths can be termed God. One God
Praying to Saints,Mary, and Angel N/A. N/A.
Time of origin Very ancient. One of the oldest religions as origin of 1st Tirthankar is too ancient and obscure. Mahavir (24th Tirthankar) born in 599 B.C.E. c 1300 BC
Can atheists partake in this religion's practices? Yes Yes.
Status of Adam N/A. First known use of the Adam/Eve mythology.
Angels Concept of Yaksha, Yakshinis. They are celestial and heavenly beings who can aid and guide humans upon invoking. But they are not considered God and their worship is not encouraged as they are not perfect souls and haven't achieved Nirvana. Angels serve God as messengers. World is full of beings existing that we cannot see or understand. Kabbalah includes mystical studies of this.
Views on Other Religions Belief in pluralism and respect other religious view points and try to accomodate them. All people should obey 7 (Noahide) Commandments, a set of very basic moral laws. Non-Jews should follow their religion, and let Jewish people follow Judaism.
Clothes Avoid clothes made from animal products. 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

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