Comparative: Hinduism and Judaism

Hinduism and Judaism had completely different viewpoints on birth, death, and afterlife. Jews believed that you were born in the image of God, created with the will to either do good or evil in your life time. This is different from Hinduisms outlook on birth because Hindus believe that until we reach “oneness” with Brahman, a member of the highest Hindu caste, we are reborn from a preceding life. In Hindu culture, death leads to a rebirth which also occurs from realizing “oneness” with Brahman.

This is different from Judaism’s perspective on death because Jews see death as leaving behind your body, and moving onto the “world to come”, not as reincarnation like Hinduism practices. For Hinduism, afterlife is almost like a completion of death; it’s the rebirth, and where one merges into Brahman. This is different from Jewish beliefs because Jews don’t really go into detail, or really mention very much at all about after life. The Jewish religion focuses more on acts and good deeds rather than beliefs.

The only explanation of afterlife in the Jewish culture is “the world to come”. Judaism and Hinduism also differ in their paths to truth and spirituality. In Judaism, they follow the Bible and Oral Scriptures, which tell Jewish people what’s right and what’s wrong. In Judaism, truth and spirituality is found more in adherence of mitzvot- a precept or commandment of the Jewish law- studying holy books, and doing good deeds leads to blessings in life.

This is different from Hinduism because Hindus believe that the way to truth and spirituality comes from spiritual disciplines, such as yoga, to reach enlightenment and to be delivered samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth. They follow scriptures called Vedas, which hold authority over a Hindus life. A similarity between Hinduism and Judaism is that both religions are Monotheistic, meaning they only worship one god. They both believe in a supreme ruler and creator that made the universe and world as we know it to be.

In Hinduism, there are many gods and goddesses that represent the personalities of their actual god, Brahma. Brahma was part of a trinity, with Vishnu and Shiva. Hindus monotheistic beliefs are similar to Judaism because in Judaism, they worship one god, which is God himself. Though, Jews do not believe in a trinity, unlike the Hindus, in reference to the Bible passage from Isaiah 44:6, “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God”. Also, another similarity is that both Hinduism and Judaism, they give offerings in honor of their god.

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