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Judaism is a religion of action. To act rightly is to be in accordance with the laws of god, and regardless of the belief in that god, if you act rightly you are living rightly, there is no true requirement for faith in god in the same way christianity requires it.

However, christianity says that without faith, you simply cannot be a true christian, regardless of right actions or deeds, without faith you are still denied.

And if faith is a gift from god and you simply do not have it, how is one to obtain it?

Christianity is also a religion of action. James and Jesus himself indicated that you must act. Often in the gospels when someone wanted to be healed, Jesus made them do something. The 'something' indicated faith in action and they had their request filled.
In my personal life it is like a walk. I step out in faith, I see personal evidence, and my faith is increased. What doesn't happen is a huge leap of faith without action, or action alone and no faith.
I agree with bdhinton that you ask really good questions. It isn't easy but when I was an atheist I also started small. If there is a God, He should reveal himself to you, right?
So I asked that. Small steps. Faith, then action, then faith.
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