Judaism is… “A 4000 year old tradition with ideas about what it means to be human Judaism is… “A 4000 year old tradition with ideas about what it means to be human

Judaism is… “A 4000 year old tradition with ideas about what it means to be human - PowerPoint Presentation

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Judaism is… “A 4000 year old tradition with ideas about what it means to be human - PPT Presentation

Rabbi Harold Kushner To Life A covenant relationship between God and the Hebrew people A celebration and sanctification of life A faith a people a way of life Judaism Founded ID: 637866

jewish torah judaism jews torah jewish jews judaism god moses israel people hebrew temple abraham kosher synagogue called life




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Judaism is…

“A 4000 year old tradition with ideas about what it means to be human and how to make the world a holy place”

(Rabbi Harold Kushner, To Life)A “covenant relationship” between God and the Hebrew peopleA celebration and sanctification of lifeA faith, a people, a way of life…Slide2



13th Century BCEFounder: Moses, who emancipated the Jews from slavery in Egypt and later established a ‘covenant’ between his people and Yahweh on Mount Sinai

Traditionally, it is held that


and his descendants established Judaism before Moses, however the 10 Commandments are now considered by many to be the foundation upon which Judaism rests.Roots: dating back approximately 4000 years= origins of Judaism, Islam and ChristianityPlace: Palestine (sometimes called Canaan; now IsraelSacred Books: Old Testament (which consists of the Five Books of Law, the historical books, the Prophets and other writings). The most sacred are the Five Books of the Law= called the TORAHSymbols: Menorah and Star of DavidAdherents: Smallest major world religions, making up 0.2 % human raceSlide3

What is in a name?

Hebrew means “From across”- name given to Abraham and his followers

Israelites: Abraham’s grandson Jacob renamed Israel which means “he who has wrestled with God”. His descendants were called “Israelites”Jews: named after Jacob’s son Judah, ancient father of tribe of King David’s dynastySlide4

From the beginning, the Jewish people have interpreted acts of history as God acting on behalf of the Jewish people

Either to promote them or to punish themHistory is seen as the story of God’s intervention in the lives of His “Chosen People”Slide5

Judaism as a Race

Judaism is an ethnic religionBegan as a religion of an extended family, a tribe of peoples known as the Hebrews

Jewish people today continue to think of themselves as a family, a nation of peoples, as well as a religionGod is understood by the Jews to intervene, to act, in and through history time and again, especially in the history of Israel (the people) Jews look to God’s action in the world Slide6

A 4000 year old tradition…

The Patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (“Israel”) – origins of the Hebrew people (more than 3800 years ago)

Enslaved in ancient Egypt and freed by Moses (more than 3300 years ago)Hebrew monarchy in the “Promised Land” (The Land of Israel), ends 6th century BCESlide7

History of the Jews From Ancient TimesSlide8


The story of Israel as a nation unfolds beginning with the founding of the people by Abraham.Slide9

Tracing Roots of Israel’s History

Nomadic tribes wandered into Palestine from east in approximately 1900 BCEMesopotamian society dominated by polytheism

God (Yahweh) appeared before Patriarch Abraham and told Abraham “to go and raise a great nation”This began the monotheistic tradition of the Hebrew faith with the establishment of the “Covenant”, “Chosen People” and “Promised Land”Abraham settled in Canaan

Story: Sacrifice of AbrahamSlide10

Patriarchs to Judaism


God told Abraham to go to Haran then Canaan and “make of him a great nation”Began monotheistic traditionCovenant with GodThe story of the Sacrifice of AbrahamSlide11

Abraham’s Geneaology







12 Tribes of Israel


12 Arabian TribesSlide12

Abraham’s JourneysSlide13

Jacob (grandson of Abraham)

Abraham’s grandson Jacob took name “Israel

” which means “God ruled” and organized Israelites into 12 tribesSome tribes settled in Egypt (due to drought and famine) and where subjected to Pharaoh rule and slaverySlide14


continued . . .



Father of Jewish people

Deborah:A prominent judge


Led Hebrews out of slavery

Saul, David, Solomon:

Kings under whom Hebrews united









The Origins of Judaism


The journey to Egypt…

Long after the time of Abraham, an agricultural crisis let the Israelites to move to Egypt.The JOSEPH story ~ Genesis 37, 39-50. (a long story highlighting its importance).Slide16

The Hebrews were the ancestors of the Jews, and most of what we know, including the laws and requirements of their religion,

Judaism, comes from their later writings.

The TorahAbraham, father of the HebrewsGod’s covenant12 Tribes of IsraelAbraham, Isaac, and Jacob were


Israelites in Egypt

Hebrew FathersSlaves in EgyptMosesPharaoh, plaguesExodusIsraelites out of EgyptPassover The Ten CommandmentsMoses and ExodusIsraelites in desertCanaanLand of “milk and honey”Israelites battled for land

Canaan = Israel

Promised Land

The Early HebrewsSlide17

Slaves… in Egypt!

The Hebrews grew in number and were forced into slavery by the Egyptians many years later.They were slaves for about 400 years – being used to build structures for the Egyptians.Slide18


Moses was born as a slave and hidden in a basket on the river Nile.Moses was then found by an Egyptian Princess who raised him in the royal palace.Moses grew up thinking he was an Egyptian until he realised who his family were.

Moses killed an Egyptian for mistreating a Jewish slave.Slide19

Moses contd.

Moses ran away and became a shepherd.One day he came across a ‘Burning Bush’ where he heard the voice of G-d.G-d told him to go back to Egypt to free the Hebrew/Jewish slaves.

G-d told him that He would help him. Slide20

Moses & Exodus:

“Let My People Go!”Moses received revelations from God: burning bush, rod / staff, 10 plagues, parting of the Red Sea

End of 13th century BCE- Moses led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt during Rames II reign called the EXODUSMoses led the 12 Tribes of Israel to Mount Sinai where Yahweh gave him the 10 Commandments, uniting the Hebrews under one God Moses and Hebrews searched for the “Promised Land” or the land of milk and honey, however they wandered in the desert for 40 yearsSlide21

Moses back in Egypt…

Moses returned to ask Pharaoh to let G-d’s people go free.Pharaoh refused and G-d sent 10 plagues in total to make Pharaoh change his mind.

Blood Frogs Vermin Beasts Cattle Disease Boils Hail Locusts Darkness Slaying of First Born Slide24


After the last plague – the death of the first born, Pharaoh decided to let the Jews go.But then Pharaoh changed his mind and chased after them.At the YAM SUPH (Red Sea) Moses held his staff over the water and the sea parted allowing the Jews to cross.

When the Egyptians tried to cross the water came down over them and they were drowned.Slide25

Route of the ExodusSlide26

Desert wanderings…

After G-d gave Moses the Torah including the 10 commandments the Jews did not follow G-d’s ways. They were on their way to the Promised Land – Canaan, but G-d punished them for by making them wander around the desert for 40 years.Slide27

Moses and the 10


A new “covenant” with YahwehSlide28

Mount SinaiSlide29

Kings of Israel

1230 BCE, Israelites guided by Joshua, invaded Canaan (Promised Land)

1020 BCE: first king of Israelites was Saul, then David, then SolomonUnder King David the Israelites captured city of JerusalemKing Solomon built the Temple of Jerusalem, to house the Arc of the Covenant (sacred box to hold Torah)Solomon’s Temple was destroyed during Babylonian invasion, rebuilt in 6th

century BCE, and

destroyed again

in 70 CE by the Romans Only remaining part of Solomon’s Temple is the Western WallSlide30

Into the Promised Land…

Over the next several centuries Israel became a moderately powerful nation under Saul, David, and Solomon. After Solomon’s death the Kingdom was divided in two parts.

The northern segment of Israel was overrun by the Assyrian Empire late in the 8th century BC.The southern part known as the nation of Judah was conquered by the Babylonians early in the 6th century. Slide31

Lost Tribes of Israel

After the death of Solomon, Kingdom of Israel split into two (north= Israel; south= Judah

) Israel was conquered by Assyrians in 722 BCE and the scattered people were known as the ‘Lost Tribes of Israel’Judah was eventually destroyed by Babylon in 586 BCE and inhabitants were held in captivity (called the Exile or Babylonian Captivity)Emergence of synagogues and rabbis during ExileReleased by Persians in 538 BCE and returned to Jerusalem to rebuild templeSlide32



King Solomon’s Temple Floor Plan

The First TempleSlide35

Inside the Temple Tabernacle

The Arc

of the


The Temple Mount, Jerusalem Today

Solomon’s Temple Wall: The “Wailing” WallSlide37

Western Wall


Western Wall

in the midst of the Old City in Jerusalem is the section of the Western supporting wall of the Temple Mount which has remained intact since the destruction of the Second Jerusalem Temple (70 CE)

It became a center of mourning over the destruction of the Temple and Israel's exile

communion with the memory of Israel's former glory and the hope for its restorationit became known in European languages as the "Wailing Wall". Slide38

The Period of the Judges

Scattered communitiesNo central government

Judges enforce lawsProphets keep Israelites focused on faithIsraelites united against Philistines

Saul, first Israelite king

Never won full support

David, second kingStrong king, gifted poetSolomon, David’s sonIsrael reached height of wealthSaul, David, SolomonConflict after Solomon’s deathTwo kingdoms, Israel and Judah722 BC, Israel fell to Assyrians586 BC, Judah fell to ChaldeansChaldeans enslaved JewsDiaspora = scattering of JewsPersians conquered ChaldeansDivision and ConquestThe Kingdom of IsraelSlide39


After the Babylonians conquered Judah they made most of the people move to Babylon (Iran/Iraq).Eventually the Jews returned to their homeland.Next they were conquered by the Greeks.Then they were conquered by the Romans… Slide40


Diaspora is a Greek word meaning “sowing of seed” or “dispersal” which refers to Jewish population living outside of Israel

In 332 BCE, Jewish people in fell under Hellenization (Greek culture) as Alexander the Great conquered Persia, Egypt and India164 BCE, group of Jews called the Maccabees revolted against Greek rule, took control of Jerusalem and rededicated the Temple to God (Hanukkah) 64 BCE, Jerusalem fell to Romans and the Kingdom of Judah became one of the provinces of the Roman Empire (Judea). The people living there were called Judeans, and it is from this word that we get the word Jew

In 66 CE the people of Judea


against Rome. This uprising was crushed and the temple was destroyed for a second time in 70 CEDespite the dispersion of Jewish people throughout Europe after 70 CE, their culture and religious beliefs have been by far the most influential of all the ancient cultures of the Near EastSlide43

Expelled! Then return!

The Romans occupied Israel until 70 CE when they finally expelled the Jews.The Jews travelled all over the world not having a country of their own for the next 2000 years until just after the second world war when the nation of Israel was reformed in Palestine. (1948).Slide44

Key Leaders and ProphetsSlide45



- major world religion founded by the Hebrews in 1400 B.C. which became the first monotheistic belief system. (monotheism-ONE GOD) IMPORTANT FIGURES:Abraham- first Hebrew to make a covenant with God; father of monotheism



- messenger of God (prophet) who led the Hebrews out of slavery in Egypt and was given the Ten Commandments3. King David & his son Solomon- created a Jewish empire and built the city of JerusalemSlide46

Beliefs and PracticesSlide47



- 1 God


- holy book

Ten Commandments- law codeSynagogue or temple- house of worshipSabbath- holy day is SaturdayKosher food (no pork or shellfish)Orthodox, Conservative or ReformedImportant days: Hannukah, Passover, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah*NOTES*Slide48

Beliefs and Practices

Monotheistic (belief in one God).Humanity is the pinnacle of creation and people are indebted to their Creator.Human bodies are from the earth, their souls are from heaven.Humans were created with “free will”, giving them the option of choosing “life and prosperity” or “death and adversity”.Slide49

The Teachings of Judaism

Religion the foundation of Hebrew and Jewish societies

Belief in One GodMonotheismJustice and RighteousnessKindness, fairness, code of ethicsObedience to the LawTen Commandments, Mosaic Law

Jewish Sacred Texts

Torah, TalmudSlide50

Basic Jewish Beliefs

Maimonides’ 13 Principles of Faith are widely accepted by Jews as summarizing the basic beliefs of Judaism

They are:God existsGod is one and uniqueGod is incorporealGod is eternalPrayer is to be directed to God aloneThe words of the Prophets are trueSlide51

Moses was the greatest of the Prophets

The written Torah (the first five books of the Tanakh) and the Oral Torah (teachings contained in the Talmud) were given to Moses by GodThere will be no other Torah

God knows the thoughts and deeds of menGod will reward the good and punish the wickedThe Messiah will comeThe dead will be resurrectedThese are accepted by most Jews as the minimum one must believeSlide52

As a faith, Jews Believe…

In one God, creator of the universe, personal but non-corporeal

In prophets of old – especially Moses, through whom Torah was revealed to the Hebrew peopleIn Torah (first five books of the Bible), containing religious, moral and social law which guides the life of a Jewthe Hebrew Bible does not include the New TestamentSlide53

The “Name” of God

Written by Hebrew consonants YHVHMeans “I am”

Jews do not have a personal name for GodChristians and others have Anglicized it to Yahweh or JehovahWritten by Orthodox Jews as G-dGod referred to as:Adonai (The Lord)Elohim, or HaShem (the Name) - the unpronounceable name of GodSlide54

A Few Main Beliefs

Jews do not believe in "original sin" (no need for a "savior" in the Christian sense) The Ten Commandments

first 4 have to do with our relationship with God Next 6 refer to our relationship with other peopleSlide55


Importance of familyStory/experience of exile and exodus"Let my people go."

Compassion and concern for freedom of all peopleshistory of continual fight for freedom and continued survival Slide56


God’s highest creaturesEarth has been given to them for food & pleasureThey are the “caretakers”Created in God’s image

Each is a soul and body unitedEach should have a fellowship with GodResponsibleAnswer to God for conductHumans have choices/can make decisionssuffer consequencesSlide57

Problem for Humans

Rebellion against God and consequential expulsionAdam and EveWho is the Messiah?Has not arrived yet to usher in a new age

He is expectedSlide58

Life after Death

Emphasis on good life on earth more than good afterlifeReferences in Psalms to heaven and hellInfluenced by Zoroastrians?Lack specific descriptions of life beyond deathSlide59

Afterlife and Salvation

Belief in heaven.When the body dies, the soul remains in heaven.Both Jews and righteous Gentiles (non-Jews) have a reserved place in heaven based on their study of the Torah along with prayer, repentance, and good deeds.Slide60


Jewish beliefs about life after death:Orthodox Jews

Heaven and hellA bodily resurrection when the Messiah comesConservative JewsResurrection – either bodily or spiritual – when the Messiah comesSlide61

Reform Jews:

No bodily resurrection; the soul returns to GodNot all Jews believe in life after death. Some believe that we live on through our good works and our descendantsSlide62


Several times a day – when waking, before and after meals, before bed and any other time you wish during the day

Major Prayers:

ShemaAmidah – 19 blessings, thanks and petitions (said at synagogue)Aleinu – affirms that there is one GodKaddish – prayer of praise. Always said in Aramaic. The Mourners Kaddish is associated with praying for the dead.Slide64

Place of WorshipSlide65

The SynagogueSlide66

Jewish place of prayer and worship

Dates back to time of Babylonian ExileServices daily

Requires a minyan = ten adultsUsually led by rabbi; can be led by any adultMain services held on the Sabbath (Shabbat) – either Friday evening or Saturday morningSlide67



The Synagogue Sanctuary


Contains the scrolls

The reading desk


Inside the SynagogueSlide70

All Synagogues contain . . .


Kodesh – also called the Ark. Holds Torah scrolls. Ner Tamid – “eternal light”. Near the Ark; symbolizes the presence of God.


– the lectern from which the Torah is read Slide71

The layout of the building is rectangular, with seats arranged on three sides. 


fourth side is the most important, it holds the Ark.  Almost in the centre of the Synagogue is a raised platform called the Bimah.  At the foot of the Bimah

is a group of seats reserved for elders of the synagogue.Slide72


Bimah is used by the Rabbi to read the Torah scrolls from.  It is raised so that the congregation can see the Rabbi and he can see them.Slide73

The scrolls have crowns covering the top of the rollers and a metal plate, called a breastplate hanging around the crowns. 


the Torah scroll is a decorated cover called a mantle.  This is usually embroidered with a crown, representing King David.Slide74

Orthodox synagogues separate men and women at worship. They have a divider called a

mechitzah between the two sections of the synagogue.Slide75

Synagogue Service

There are communal prayers in the synagogue dailyMain service is on Shabbat (the Sabbath)

Service is led by the Rabbi and perhaps a cantorService is often a mixture of Hebrew and EnglishLasts between 30 and 90 minutesSlide76

The Service:

Chanting of the Shema and AmidahScripture readingsWritings


Religious Leaders: RabbiSlide78

Rabbi holding a Torah scroll – the scrolls are written in Hebrew by hand on parchmentSlide79


He (or she in Reform and some Conservative communities) leads services, educates, and officiates at events like bar mitzvahs, weddings and funerals

It usually takes five years of postgraduate study to become a rabbi.Slide80

Chapter 28 of Exodus describes the garb of the high priest, based off of this the priest’s clothing includes:

-A tunic (the Torah mantle)

-A belt (the sash around the Torah)-A Mitre (the crown of the Torah)-A BreastplateThese have all been reproduced in some fashion for the dressing and decorating of the Sefer Torah.Slide81

Responsibilities of the Rabbi:


means “teacher”) -Preaching from the pulpit-Teaching classes-Individual counseling

Some prayers are said by everyone, and some are recited aloud by the


tzibbur, to which the congregation responds "Amen.“ The chazzan (cantor) is specially trained in the art of Jewish music and liturgy for this role. Slide82

Clothing Specific to FaithSlide83

Clothing worn during worship:





- Before beginning to worship or pray the devout Jew will often put on a prayer shawl.

The fringes on the shawl remind him of the many commandments (613) of the Torah. He will first cover his head completely with the Tallit.Slide85


Tallit is a prayer shawl, worn around the neck during the service.

  You can see the tassels or fringes hanging down.  Each one represents the laws Jews must follow in their lives.  This comes from a commandment in the Torah:Slide86



are two small boxes with leather straps attached to them.   You can see them in the picture next to the Siddur, the Jewish prayer book.   The tephillin contain a small portion of scripture from the Torah, called the ShemaSlide87

Phylacteries or


- Phylacteries are small leather boxes that have long straps attached that are worn on the left forearm and on the forehead. Inside the boxes are passages from the scriptures, including the Shema. Slide88

Kippur or Yarmulke

- On their heads the devout Jew always wears the Yarmulke

, a small skull cap, which reminds them that they are always duty bound to follow the laws of God at all times and in all places.Slide89

Religious Objects and SymbolsSlide90


Star of David= shape of King David’s shield; symbol adopted by ZionistsMenorah= ancient source of light

7 branched= Sabbath9 branched= HanukahSlide91

The Menorah

: The Menorah is the seven branched candlestick which was placed in the temple in Jerusalem, each home has a Menorah to remind them of the temple and of their hope that one day it will be built againSlide92

The Mezuzah

: The Mezuzah

is a small box fixed to the doorpost on your house, according to the command in scripture. If you look at a Jewish house there will be a small box fixed to the right hand side of the doorpost. Inside the Mezuzah is a small piece of parchment with the words of Deuteronomy 13-21 written upon it..Slide93



David : The Magen David is the star of David, this is the representation of the state of Israel. It is more a political than a religious statement. The state of Israel was recreated by the United Nations in 1948.Slide94

Interesting Facts

The Israeli flag is rooted in Jewish tradition. The white background symbolizes purity. The symbols on the flag are two stripes—one on the top and one on the bottom—and the Star of David emblem adorning the center. The stripes and blue color are inspired by the techeileth dye of the tallit (Jewish prayer shawl)

Jews have regarded the Land of Israel as their homeland, both as a Holy Land and as a Promised Land. The Land of Israel holds a special place in Jewish religious obligations, encompassing Judaism's most important sites — including the remains of the First and Second TemplesSlide95

Holy TextsSlide96



With His People



The first 5 books

of the Hebrew


The most sacred

text in the Jewish

religious tradition.Slide97

The 3 Categories


Most important textDivine instruction and guidance or "Written Law”Books are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, DeuteronomyCovers history from creation through the Exodus and wandering in the desert 613 commandments from GodSlide98


2. Prophets: Words and revelations of the minor and major prophets

Ezekiel, Isaiah, Amos, Jonah, etc.3. Writings: poetic and devotional material written and used during the same time as the Prophets, words and works of the sages Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ruth, Esther, Daniel, etc. Slide99


consists of Five Books of Moses written on parchment scroll in ancient form by hand and kept in Ark

Torah means “law” but more accurate is “revelation”, “teaching” or “instruction”Torah is divided into 54 sections and one portion is read each week (2 weeks of year have a double portion) so that the entire Torah is read from beginning to end in a yearSlide100

Torah Scroll

What is a Torah scroll?The Torah contains the Five Books of Moses, whose English and Hebrew names are:


Beraishit Exodus Shemot Leviticus








Sacred Texts

The Hebrew Bible or TanakhKnown by Christians as "Old Testament“

contains the same books as the Christian version but in a different order after the first five Considered revealed and inspired by GodInterpretation of early history of the Hebrew people, establishment of a nation Story of God’s interaction with His "Chosen People" (His-Story) Foundation of Jewish lifeCalled the Bible (Biblia) means "little books“Actually a library of 39 independent books divided into 3 categories:Slide102


Jewish Bible, consisting of Torah (Law of Moses), the Prophets, and the WritingsTalmud

second most important source of rabbinic Jewish law based on Mishnah, which complements and interprets the Torah and applies scripture to everyday life and observanceMishnahEarly rabbinic teachings on how to live according to Torah

Sacred TextsSlide103

The Talmud

Oral tradition passed to Moses and beyondFinally written down in the 2nd centuryContains info on rituals, marriages, agricultural laws, festivals, etc.Slide104

As a way of life, Judaism is based on…

613 commandments found in Torah (“Written Law”)

Talmud (“Oral Law”) – commentary of ancient rabbis that elaborates on how to apply God’s Law in everyday life through:Dietary rules (Kashrut/Kosher)Dress and other symbolsPrayer and devotion to the one GodThe Temple and Temple ritesObservance of Holy days

Proper social relations between male and female, in business, judicial rulings, etc.

Thus sanctifying life, blessing it in every waySlide105

Kosher FoodSlide106


(Kosher Food Laws)Slide107

Kosher Food laws concern:

What foods can be eatenHow foods must be prepared

The laws are found in the TorahSlide108


– food that is not kosher and cannot be consumedPareve – food that can be eaten at any time, with any other foodSlide109

General information . . .

Kosher animals chew their cud and have cloven hoofs (cattle, sheep, goats, deer)

Animals must be humanely slaughtered under the supervision of a trained shochefSeafood must have scales and finsDomesticated fowl can be eaten; birds of prey cannotSlide110

Reptiles, amphibians and insects are trayf

Blood cannot be consumedMeat and milk cannot be consumed at the same mealRules for Passover are stricterSlide111

Kosher foods

Non-Kosher foods




PigAll fish (as long as they have scales)









Most birds especially birds of prey


Lev. 11:13-19

: These you shall regard as detestable among the birds. They shall not be eaten; they are an abomination: the eagle, the vulture, the osprey, the buzzard, the kite of any kind; every raven of any kind; the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; the little owl, the cormorant, the great owl, the water hen, the desert owl, the carrion vulture, the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat. Slide113

Kosher Animals

Animals are kosher if:

Their hooves are completely parted at the bottom to form 2 horny padsIf it chews the cudIn order for the animal to be Kosher, they must do BOTH. (For example, pigs are not Kosher because they do not chew the cud) Slide114

All Vegetables and fruit are kosher

, but they must be carefully checked for non-kosher foods like insects.All dairy products are kosher (Must be bloodless), but it must be checked that the product does not contain any meat based products

(for example many cheeses contain rennet which is made from the stomach of pigs or cows and thus breaks two of the kosher rules (i) that meat and dairy must be separate and (ii) that products from the pig are treyfah). Also the kosher Jew must to sure that the milk is only from kosher animals (some farmers made a practice of topping up cow's milk with pig's milk - this would make the milk treyfah)All shellfish is



Different branches of Judaism have different attitudes towards these laws:

Orthodox – follow strictlyConservative – some follow strictly; many follow a modified versionReform – following is up to the individual; many follow partiallySlide116

Special CeremoniesSlide117



“The Covenant of Circumcision”8 days after birthPerformed at home or at the synagogueMohel – performs the ceremonyThe child is officially given his nameSlide118


: After a boy child has been born a blessing is said and eight days later the child will be presented for the ceremony of circumcision. This may take place in the synagogue or in the home, or at the hospital.

This is a very important ceremony and the only reason for delaying it is if the child is ill. The boy will be placed on the lap of the sandek (A bit like a Christian godparent). it is a great honour to be asked to perform this service. The circumcision is performed by the mohel , who may be a doctor but does not have to be.


circumcision of boys is a sign of the covenant that God agreed with

Abraham (more about Abraham).Slide119

Brit Ha-bat

The naming ceremony for a daughterA modern celebration done mostly in Reform synagoguesSlide120

Bar Mitzvah

Bat Mitzvah

Son or Daughter of Commandment – the child officially becomes an adult in the Jewish communityTakes place at the synagogueThe child reads (in Hebrew!) and comments on the Torah portion for the dayThe Bat Mitzvah ceremony is modern and is not done in Orthodox communitiesSlide121


613 mitzvot 258 positive, 365 negativeBoys: 13+1 day, girls 12+1 dayBar Mitzvah means “son of the commandment”

Commands from GodNo immediate rewardObedience rewards in afterlifeSlide122

The ceremony of the Bar Mitzvah is a very important occasion for the young Jewish male. The ceremony, is normally held on the first Shabbat after his 13th birthday. Slide123

There are three main reasons why the Bar Mitzvah is so important for every Jewish male:

The boy who has come of age is given the full religious responsibilities of the adult male. He is allowed to wear the ritual clothes the Tallit and the Tefillin, he can make up the minimum 10 males who must be present for a service to take place (the minyan), and he can take part fully in the worship in the synagogue.

At any time in the future he can be called upon to read from the Torah. All Jews consider this to be a great privilege. In many synagogues this is seen as a serious statement of faith by the young adult. They acknowledge their faith and acknowledge that the responsibility for their spiritual life now passes from their parents to them. Slide124

A Bar Mitzvah at the Wailing Wall, Jerusalem

Bar MitzvahSlide125

In Reform Judaism teens are often confirmed as well as bar or bat

mitzvahed. Confirmation takes place when they are older and is a personal commitment to Judaism.Slide126


Takes place under a chuppah = canopyAncient custom

May be raised indoors or outSymbolizes both the new home established by the couple and the tents Jews lived in during the ExodusSlide127



Chuppah : The whole of the wedding service takes place under the Chuppah. This is usually a canopy supported by four poles and normally decorated with fringes and flowers. The chuppah is a symbol of the home that the couple will set up together after the marriage.Slide128


Signing the KETUBAH

: Before the bride enters the synagogue the bridegroom will sign the Ketubah, thus signifying the terms of the contract for the marriage. The Ketubah is a "bill of rights" for the woman since it sets out the responsibilities of the husband, the wording of the document is about 2000 years old.Slide129

The groom now waits for his bride under the


, at a signal the bride enters in procession. The bride will come with a collection of close relatives and friends who take their place on either side of the chuppah. As the bride enters a special blessing is sung.The betrothal blessing is recited over a goblet of wine and God is praised for guiding humanity by giving laws about marriage. The couple then drink from the goblet and the groom places a ring on the right index finger of the bride.Slide130

The seven blessings of marriage are then recited. These are called the SHEVA BARACHOTH

After the

Sheva Baracoth a cup of wine is then drunk.The bridegroom then symbolically breaks a glass under his footThe priestly blessing is then said over the couple the couple leave to sign the registers. Slide131

The wedding ceremony includes:

Blessing and sharing wineExchange of ringsSigning the Ketubah

Marriage contractProtects the rights of the wifeOften in AramaicSlide132

The Seven Blessings

Breaking a glassMazel Tov!Slide133

When someone dies the family does something which non-Jewish observers would find very strange they take hold of a garment that they are wearing and tear it.


is an ancient Jewish customs and helps to vent the anger that they are feeling at the death of a loved one.Slide134


(Mourning)7 days after death of a family member

Remain at home except for going to synagogueWear black or black ribbon with a symbolic slash (cut) in itNo workMen don’t shavePeople visitSlide135

Extended Mourning

30 days for a close family memberReturn to work or school but not other activitiesFor a parent, spouse or child mourning continues for a year (no parties, celebrations)

Yahrzeit1 year anniversarySpecial synagogue serviceUnveiling of the tombstoneSlide136

Preparation of the body:

Washed and dressed by members of a funeral societyPlaced in a plain wood casket surrounded by a linen shroudNever embalmed

Never crematedVisitation:In the home (body not present)In the synagogue before the funeralNever open casketSlide137

A candle is lit and placed at the head of the bed.

One of the sons remains with the body and quietly recites some of the psalms. From now until the burial, the body would not be left alone.

Arrangements are made for the funeral, for it is the tradition for the Jews to bury the body, if at all possible within 24 hours of death. The undertaker provides a simple coffin. Slide138

The Funeral Service:

Prayers and blessingsOne or more eulogiesInternment:

In a Jewish cemeteryCeremony presided over by the Rabbi and attended by only closest friends and relativesNo flowersSlide139

Why do Jews leave a rock at the gravesite?

Jews do not place flowers on graves.Often, they leave a small rock on the headstone

Reasons:Historical – ancient Jews covered graves with rocks to protect them. It is a hold over from thatContemporary– it shows that someone has visited the graveSlide140


How does Judaism sanctify time?

The Jewish Holidays:High Holidays:Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)Sukkot, the “Festival of Booths” (fall harvest festival)Simchat Torah – celebrating Torah

Chanukah, the “Festival of Lights”Slide142

More Holy Days…

Purim (“Lots”) – a carnival (commemorates events told in book of Esther)

Pesach (“Passover”) – commemorates the exodus from Egypt (events told in Exodus)Shavuot (“weeks,” Pentecost) – commemorates receipt of Torah at SinaiOther, minor festivalsShabbat (Sabbath, 7th day, on Saturday) – the “Day of Rest”Slide143


Jewish calendar based on lunar monthSabbath/ShabbatObserved each week

Sundown on Fridaysundown on SaturdayRosh HashanahNew yearBegins the Days of AweConcentrate on prayer, contemplation, self-searching

Yom Kippur


th day (of awe)Holiest day observedRepentance: 24 hours of atonement and fastingSlide144

Sweets for a sweet new year

Shabbat dinnerSlide145


ChanukkahCelebrated rededication of Jerusalem temple in 164 BCE (after destruction by Greeks)Sacred oil lasted 8 days for celebrationMinor festivalSlide146


Most important holidayMarks deliverance form slavery in Egypt under Moses’ leadershipSacred meal: sederUnleavened bread (matzah)Slide147


How is Judaism related to Christianity?

Judaism predates Christianity – it is the foundation of Christianity but is

not a part of it Jesus was Jewish, as were his followers and the ApostlesJews do not believe that Jesus was anything more than a good and wise man who lived and died 2000 years ago – Jews still await their messiahThe Jewish messiah would not be divine. He would be a political figure who restores the Hebrew monarchy and causes peace to reign on EarthJews are not concerned about salvation and the “world to come”Slide149

What are Jews really concerned about?


Olam - “repairing this world” through justice and righteousness; through “deed, not creed”The heart of Judaism is in the home and family, social responsibility and doing Mitzvot (“good deeds” based on God’s commandments)Through education and hard work we make our lives, the lives of others, and the world, what God intended it to be – Holy!Slide150


To Life!

To Life!Slide151

Web resources

Judaism 101:

http://jewfaq.org/ ”an online encyclopedia of Judaism, covering Jewish beliefs, people, places, things, language, scripture, holidays, practices and customs”ReligiousTolerance.org on Judaism: http://www.religioustolerance.org/judaism.htmThis P0werpoint presentation available at: http://www.nvcc.edu/home/lshulman/Rel232/resource/judaism.ppt