The story begins all the way back in Ur. Yahweh or God made an agreement with Abraham. The agreement was to have the Hebrews leave Ur and go to Canaan. In exchange for this, Yahweh promised that they and their descendants could always live in Canaan.
After the Hebrews settled in Egypt, they were enslaved for around 600 years. Then Moses the Hebrew leader at the time told the pharaoh to end the enslavement. At first he refused but then he finally agreed. As the Hebrews were getting out of Egypt, the pharaoh decided he still wanted them in captivity so he sent his army after them. The Hebrews escaped, and went back to Canaan.
Moses led the Hebrews to Mount Sinai, where he climbed to the top to receive a message from god. Yahweh told Moses that he would lead the Hebrews back to Canaan. In return, the Hebrews were to obey certain laws, these laws were called the ten commandments. For the Hebrews, laws affected not only individuals but the whole community. They believed in social justice, for the right to be treated fairly.
Eventually Hebrews believed that they needed a king to unite them. Their first king was Saul. He ruled well for several years, until he lost the support of the people. Then David became the new king. David wrote many of the psalms or sacred songs, found in the bible. After David died, his son Solomon became king.
Prophets, or persons claiming to have a message from God, appeared in the Hebrew kingdoms. They criticized the way Hebrews were living. The rich were mis treating the poor. The government officials were accepting bribes. The Prophets reminded the Hebrews of their duty to God and to one another. They warned the Hebrews that Yahweh would punish them.
The Hebrews refused to listen to these warnings. Soon it was to late, and powerful neighbors took over the Hebrew kingdoms. The Babylonians conquered Judah and were forced to move to Babylon. They had lost their temple in Jerusalem, so they had to find another way to worship God. They began meeting in small groups on the Sabbath, or day of rest. Once they were freed they re-built Jerusalem and their temple. The wrote down the laws of Moses in five books called the Torah.