What are some similarities between Judaism and Buddhism?
**Edit to this person's response: "Both religions did not engage
in proselytizing" is wrong. Buddhism was a proselytizing religion.
Ashoka (Chandragupta's son) spread Buddhism throughout Burma,
Syria, and Egypt by means of missionaries.
- They both don't stress the afterlife.
- They both don't allow being mean to others.
- As far as doctrine there is agreement that being "good" is
better than being "bad"
- Some schools of thought within Judaism subscribe to
reincarnation, which is also a belief of Buddhism. However this is
not an actual religious doctrine of Judaism, and is not mentioned
anywhere in the Talmud.
- Both religions do not engage in proselytizing.
But most other issues differ:
- Is a deity based religion.
- Uses Jewish cultural references.
- There is a defined start to creation and mankind (though most
Jews today believe in evolution and the Big Bang Theory).
- Jews do not believe that desire causes suffering. Jews strive
for a balance.
- There is a code of ethics to follow (some follow it
- Does not place emphasis on the afterlife.
- Has no deity.
- Has no creation narrative.
- Uses Indian cultural references.
- Has no set of right and wrong behaviors - just
- Enlightenment is achieved by individual effort.
- Believes in reincarnation.
- Has no heaven, just a state of existence without self, called
All religions are alike because they all believe in some type of
god; but Buddhism and Judaism are not alike. They are, in fact, the
most opposite. Buddhism is more spiritual, you could say, and
Judaism deals more with everyday life.
These two religions are so apart that it is hard to say that
there is any similarity between the two. Judaism is Monotheistic,
Buddhism is not. Judaism believes that God revealed himself to
mankind so that mankind will be able to correct the world. Buddhism
believes Buddha (who was human) revealed the way to escape from the
suffering of this world. Maybe one shared thing to the two
religions is the key belief in treating other people well (though
for different reasons).
Buddhism and Judaism share a few general ideas, but are
fundamentally different religions and hold beliefs that run counter
to one another. The few similarities that exist include:
Schools and Academies of Study: Both Buddhism and Judaism
are complex disciplines with very precise and lengthy requirements
for practice. As a result, Buddhist and Jewish scholars have places
of teaching and train their disciples for years to understand the
very complex knowledge of the religious life.
Spirituality over Materialism: Buddhism and Judaism are
both deeply anti-materialistic, holding that Truth is discoverable
only when seeing the world in its spiritual essence. The Buddhist
achieves this through asceticism while the Jew achieves it through
separation, but the intent is similar.
Valuing the Weak: Buddhism and Judaism hold that the
elderly, the sick, and children are very valuable even though their
material or physical contribution to society may not be very high.
The wisdom of the elderly is to be prized, the sick are to be
helped and sympathized with, and the innocence of children is
Human Fraternity: Both religions believe that people
should be kind to one another and love each other (within reason).
The core teachings of both faiths are to be peaceful and
good-willed. Political situations such as those in Tibet and Israel
make these teachings more difficult to follow.
This World Matters: Buddhism and Judaism do have an
afterlife. But contrary to faiths which focus heavily on the
afterlife, Buddhists and Jews do not see it as central to their
teachings. In Buddhism and Judaism, a person performs righteously
in this life solely because they live and for no other reason.