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A Brief Guide to Judaism

A Brief Guide to Judaism

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A Brief Guide to Judaism

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  1. A Brief Guide to Judaism A curriculum support presentation for the study of the Holocaust. Created by the Birmingham Holocaust Education Committee July, 2008

  2. How to Use this PowerPoint This PowerPoint is designed to stand alone or to be used as support material in teaching the Holocaust. A few slides have support notes in the “Notes Section” below the slide. This will be indicated on the slide itself by a * placed next to the picture or copy that has further details provided in the notes. The Hebrew words in this presentation are written in italics and include a phonetical pronunciation as well as an actual audio pronunciation available by double clicking on the placed next to the text.

  3. What is Judaism? • Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people. • Judaism is the first recorded monotheistic faith and is the oldest religious tradition still in practice today. According to Jewish tradition, the history of Judaism begins with the Covenant between G-d* and Abraham (ca. 2000 B.C.E.**), the patriarch of the Jewish people. • Judaism differs from many religions in that central authority is not vested in a person or group, but in sacred texts and traditions. Judaism is based on principles and ethics embodied in the Hebrew Bible and the Talmud. • With an estimated 14 million adherents in 2006, Judaism is the world's twelfth largest organized religion.***

  4. Basic Beliefs Of Judaism Judaism is a religion concerned with actions more than beliefs. It offers substantial room for personal opinion. One G-d The People The Covenant The World to Come Repairing the World Death The Land of Israel

  5. One G-d Jews believe in a single, omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (in all places at all times), benevolent G-d who created the universe and continues to be involved in its governance. This G-d is just and merciful and has no form or representation. Just as the terms G-d and Lord are used interchangeably in English, there are various Hebrew terms as well: A-donai * (ä-dō-NĪ) - Hebrew for "Lord”; commonly restricted for prayer. Hashem (hŏ-SHĔM) -Hebrew for "the Name." E-lohim (ĕ-lō-HĒM) - Another term for G-d.

  6. Basic Beliefs Of Judaism One G-d The People The Covenant The World to Come Repairing the World Death The Land of Israel

  7. The People Each person is created in the image of G-d; therefore, all people are created equal and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Furthermore, our likeness to G-d is in our intellectual ability to understand. Judaism believes that people have free will and are responsible for the choices they make.

  8. Basic Beliefs Of Judaism One G-d The People The Covenant The World to Come Repairing the World Death The Land of Israel

  9. The Covenant According to traditional Jewish belief, G-d established a Covenant with the Jewish people and revealed his laws and commandments to Moses on Mount Sinai in the form of the Torah. The Torah contains 613 commandments from G-d known as mitzvot (mēts-VOHT), or sacred obligations. Amongst them are the Ten Commandments. The Torah, in its full form, contains the 5 Books of Moses and all of its explanation. It teaches how to act, think, and even comprehend life and death, as well as G-d's relationship with the Jewish people.

  10. Basic Beliefs Of Judaism One G-d The People The Covenant The World to Come Repairing the World Death The Land of Israel

  11. The World to Come Jews believe the Messiah will be a person (not a god), from the family of King David, who will lead the world to unity and peace. Jews do not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Jews do recognize that in his time, Jesus was an influential Jewish teacher who lived and died as a Jew, with no thought of creating a separate religion.

  12. Basic Beliefs Of Judaism One G-d The People The Covenant The World to Come Repairing the World Death The Land of Israel

  13. Repairing the World, Tikkun Olam Tikkun Olam (t’KUHN-oh-LAHM) is a Hebrew phrase that means repairing or mending the world. Jews believe that we are G-d’s partners in improving the world. By following the Commandments, which include social action and tzedakah, Jews strive to bring peace, freedom, and justice to all people. Tzedakah (tsi-DÄH-kuh) is defined as money donated to others because it is the right thing to do. Often mistranslated as “charity,” in Hebrew it actually means “justice” or “righteousness.” While charity is given when one is able and emotionally moved to do so, tzedakah is an obligation given by G-d to all Jews. Unlike philanthropy, which is completely voluntary, tzedakah is seen as a religious obligation, which must be performed regardless of financial standing, and must even be performed by the poor.

  14. Basic Beliefs Of Judaism One G-d The People The Covenant The World to Come Repairing the World Death The Land of Israel

  15. Death * Although Jewish people believe in heaven, Judaism focuses on this life and the world in which we live, for it is in the here and now that humankind can grow and do good deeds. Essentially, this world is for action, and in the afterlife, one experiences the personal fulfillment of those actions.

  16. Basic Beliefs Of Judaism One G-d The People The Covenant The World to Come Repairing the World Death The Land of Israel

  17. The Land of Israel Judaism believes the Land of Israel (Eretz Yisrael) was part of the Covenant made between G-d and the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. Since the time of Abraham, there has been a continual Jewish presence in the Land of Israel.

  18. Who is a Jew? • According to traditional Jewish Law, a Jew is anyone born of a Jewish mother or converted in accordance with Jewish Law. Judaism maintains that a Jew, whether by birth or conversion, is a Jew forever. * • All Jews consider themselves to be descendants of the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. • Jews are not a race. Jews are not a nation. Jews are like a family.

  19. Jews Are Not a Race ! • The idea of race itself, and actual divisions of persons into groups based on selected hereditary features, are social constructs. • Jews sprang from the Mediterranean subdivision of the Caucasoid race. Over the course of centuries, Jews have developed a multitude of different physical characteristics because of their fusion with other racial blends wherever they lived. • There is no distinguishing racial physical feature common only to Jews. • Anyone can become a Jew – and members of every race, creed and color in the world have done so at one time or another. • As early as Abraham, the Jews have admitted others into the fold. A “mixed multitude” of many non-Jews joined the Exodus. (Exodus 12:38)

  20. Jews Are Not a Nation ! • When Jews speak of themselves as a nation, this implies shared ideas, values and heritage, rather than geographic location. • It is a “nation” of mutual responsibility for one another that transcends common land or government. • This is why Jews can be both Jewish and American – or any other nationality. • The modern state of Israel extends the concept of nationhood, and many Jews see themselves as her citizens.

  21. Jews Are Like a Family Jews feel a sense of connectedness to each other that many find hard to explain, define, or even understand: • Like a family, Jews don’t always agree with each other. • Like a family, Jews hold each other to the highest standards, knowing that the shortcomings of any member will be held against them all. • Like a family, when an outsider criticizes a member or the “family” as a whole, Jews are quick to join together in opposition to that unfair criticism. • Like a family, when members suffer or are persecuted, the whole “family” feels the pain. • Like a family, when a member does something wrong, they all feel shame. • Like a family, when a member accomplishes something significant, they all feel proud.

  22. The Diversity of the Jewish People

  23. Major Branches of Judaism Orthodox Original and only form of Judaism until the 1800’s. Named Orthodox in reaction to the advent of Reform Judaism. Most observant. Reform Founded by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise in 1873 in rebellion against the binding traditions of orthodoxy. Most flexible about observance of Jewish laws. The largest Jewish movement in North America. Conservative Organized by Dr. Solomon Schechter in 1913 as a reaction to Reform Judaism's liberalism. Philosophically stands between Orthodox and Reform.

  24. Orthodox Judaism • Believe that both the Written Law (Torah) and the Oral Law (Torah’s traditional interpretation which became the Talmud) were divinely revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai. They have been transmitted throughout the ages. These laws are binding and can not be abolished. • The 613 mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah are all equally obligatory. Although these principles are G-d given and therefore eternal, they are applied by the sages to changing times. * Consequently, Orthodox Jews observe the Kosher dietary laws. • Believe the Messiah will be one descended through the line of King David. He will gather the Jews back in the Holy Land, the Land of Israel, and usher in an era of peace, including the construction of the Third Temple on the site of the original Temple in Jerusalem. • Believe in an afterlife and the bodily resurrection of the dead. • Prayer services held primarily in Hebrew. During prayer, men are seated separately from women. Men are required to pray in a minyan (quorum of 10 required for prayer). ** • Only children of Jewish mothers are considered Jewish. Conversion is accepted, but must be in accord with Orthodox law. • Prohibits intermarriage in any way.

  25. Orthodox Sub-Groups MODERN ORTHODOX • Integrated into modern society yet emphasize strict observance of religious laws and commandments. • Feel that secular knowledge and aspects of secular society can be incorporated into their Jewish life. ULTRA-ORTHODOX (HAREDI) • Life revolves around Torah study, prayer and family. • Families tend to be large, reflecting adherence to the commandment "be fruitful & multiply" (Genesis 1:28, 9:1,7). • Often live in insular communities. • Hasidim (Hasid means “pious”) • • Founded in Eastern Europe in the 1700’s by Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, Ba'al Shem Tov. • • Followers focus on the aspects of joy, song, and dance in their service of G-d. They strive to experience • an exalted state of connection with G-d. • • Emphasize all Jewish traditions, including the mystical Kabbalah as a sacred scripture. • Try to make the Kabbalah more accessible to the masses. • • Recognize a Rebbe (RĔB-ē) as spiritual, intellectual and organizational leader. • Lubavitch (Chabad) • • A Hasidic movement founded in Russia at end of 1700’s. • • Lubavitch is the name of the town in Russia that served as the movement's headquarters for over a century. • • Reaches out to fellow Jews, celebrating the joys of being Jewish.

  26. Haredi (Ultra Orthodox) Dress • The distinctive dress of Haredi Jews helps them to define and insulate their communities, as well as maintain a traditional and spiritual focus. • They dress as their ancestors dressed in 18th and 19th century Europe. • Tend to wear dark suits with white shirts.* • Most wear a kippah (KĒ-pah) ** or head covering at all times. • Generally wear a wide-brimmed hat (typically black) when outside.*** • Generally have beards and sidelocks or payes (PĀ-yəs). **** • “You shall not mar the corner of your beard.” (Leviticus 19:27) • Often follow the specific dress style of their group, which may include • elegant frock coats, wide or high fur hats and generally a long belt • wrapped around the frock during prayer. MEN • Women, in line with strict standards of modesty, tend to wear long skirts • and shirts with long sleeves and high necklines. • After the women get married, they cover their heads with either • scarves, hats or wigs. WOMEN

  27. Major Branches of Judaism Orthodox Original and only form of Judaism until the 1800’s. Named Orthodox in reaction to the advent of Reform Judaism. Most observant. Reform Founded by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise in 1873, in rebellion against the binding traditions of orthodoxy. Most flexible about observance of Jewish laws. The largest Jewish movement in North America. Conservative Organized by Dr. Solomon Schechter in 1913 as a reaction to Reform Judaism's liberalism. Philosophically stands between Orthodox and Reform.

  28. Reform Judaism • Affirms the central tenets of Judaism – G-d, Torah and Israel – yet embraces innovation while preserving tradition. Today, the movement has embraced many of the practices it first rejected. It now expresses a greater respect for tradition while still recognizing that the sacred heritage has evolved and adapted over the centuries and must continue to do so. • Accepts the Torah as divinely inspired, but written in the language of the time in which it was given. Views the Oral Law as an evolving system in which successive generations of rabbis discussed how to incorporate the Torah into their lives. Feel more free than the Orthodox to modify or change the Oral Law. The 613 mitzvot are subject to modern interpretation. Originally rejected kashrut (kosher dietary laws), but today many are observing these laws. • Perceives a Messianic Age when the world will be at peace but does not agree that there will be a messiah (king) as the leader of this era. • Reform Jewish liturgy is beginning to reflect a broader philosophical openness to the concept of the resurrection of the dead. • Holds prayer services in the native tongue (along with some Hebrew). Allows women full equality in religious matters. They may read from the Torah, become a Bat Mitzvah, sit with the men during religious services, and be counted as part of the minyan. • Considers children of either Jewish mothers or fathers as Jewish as long as they are raised Jewish. Requires male converts to undergo the ritual of circumcision and immersion. Requires females to undergo immersion. • Intermarriage is allowed, but not encouraged. Some rabbis will perform an intermarriage as long as parents plan to raise the children Jewish.

  29. Major Branches of Judaism Orthodox Original and only form of Judaism until the 1800’s. Named Orthodox in reaction to the advent of Reform Judaism. Most observant. Reform Founded by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise in 1873, in rebellion against the binding traditions of orthodoxy. Most flexible about observance of Jewish laws. The largest Jewish movement in North America. Conservative Organized by Dr. Solomon Schechter in 1913 as a reaction to Reform Judaism's liberalism. Philosophically stands between Orthodox and Reform.

  30. Conservative Judaism • The term “Conservative” is meant to signify that Jews should attempt to conserve Jewish tradition, rather than reform or abandon it. It does not imply that the movement’s adherents are politically conservative. • Believes that the Torah came from G-d, but was transmitted by humans and thus contains a human component. The laws in the Torah should change and adapt, absorbing aspects of the predominant culture, while remaining true to Judaism’s values. Views the Oral Law as an evolving system in which successive generations of rabbis discussed and debated how to incorporate the Torah into their lives. Feel more free than the Orthodox to ignore, modify, or change the Oral Law. Rules concerning kosher dietary laws (kashrut) are not obligatory, but believes that Jews should consider keeping kosher because it is a valuable way for people to bring holiness into their lives. • Believe they must live in a way that will usher in the Messianic Age. They are not sure whether the Messiah will be an actual person or whether he is a symbol of redemption. • Conservative Jews have retained the tenet of the bodily resurrection of the dead, including traditional references to it in the liturgy. However, many conservative Jews interpret the tenet metaphorically rather than literally. • Religious services contain considerably more Hebrew than Reform services. Allows women full equality in religious matters. Allows them to read from the Torah, become a Bat Mitzvah, sit with the men during religious services, and be counted as part of the minyan. • Recognizes Jewish lineage through matrilineal descent only. Conversion to Judaism requires both circumcision and ritual immersion for males and only the latter for females. • Rabbis and cantors are prohibited from officiating at intermarriages in any way.

  31. Sephardic or Ashkenazic ( suh-FAHR-dĭk , ähsh-kĕn-ÄH-zĭk ) In addition to religious laws, Jews from different geographic areas historically adopt different customs and interpretations. • Sephardic Jews are the Jews of Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East and their descendants. • Sephardic Jews originated in Spain or Portugal. The Hebrew word for Spain is Sefarad. While under Islamic rule, there were good relations between Jews and Muslims, but under Catholic rule, there was great pressure for Jews to convert. In 1492, both Jews and Muslims were expelled from Spain. The Jews fled to Muslim countries and the Netherlands. • The Latin-based language called “Ladino,” based on Spanish and Hebrew, became the unifying language of Sephardic Jews in Europe. • Sephardic Jews enjoy bourekas (phyllo dough pastries filled with cheese or spinach) and on Passover may eat rice, corn, peanuts and beans. • Ashkenazic Jews are the Jews of France, Germany, and Eastern Europe and their descendants. • Ashkenaz is the Yiddish word for Germany. When the Jews were expelled from Germany in the Middle Ages, those that settled in northern, central, and eastern Europe became known as “Ashkenzi.” • The language of Ashkenazic communities was Yiddish. This was based on medieval German, with some Hebrew expressions, as well as words from the languages of those places where Jews settled. • Ashkenazic Jews enjoy bagels & lox, potato latkes, gefilte fish, and matzah ball soup. There are some Jews who do not fit into this Ashkenazic/Sephardic distinction. Yemenite Jews, Ethiopian Jews, and Oriental Jews also have their own distinct customs and traditions.

  32. The Synagogue Birmingham, AL Florence, Italy New York City • Synagogue • Synagogues are Jewish houses of prayer and study. They often have additional areas for community or educational use. • Also called a Temple or Shul (SHOOL), in Yiddish. • There is no set architectural design for synagogues. • All synagogues contain an Ark and an Eternal Light. Religious Leaders Rabbi – spiritual leader charged with leading and teaching the congregation. This role requires ordination by the congregation's preferred authority. Chazzan or Cantor – ordained clergy and trained vocalist that leads the congregation in prayer. Gabbai (GĂ–bī) – a lay person who volunteers to perform various duties in connection with Torah readings at religious services.

  33. Ner Tamid(NĔR tä-MĒD) orEternal Light & Ten Commandments The Eternal Light hung in front of the ark burns constantly, symbolizing G-d’s eternal and imminent presence in our communities and lives. Bimah(BĒ-mə) Raised platform from which the Torah is read. Aron HaKodesh (ä-RŌN hä-KŌ-dĕsh) or Holy Ark Where the Torah scrolls are kept. It is often closed with an ornate curtain. Menorah The seven branched candlestick symbolizing the creation of the world. Magen Dovid One of the most common symbols of Judaism is the Star of David.

  34. Etiquette for Visitors • In most synagogues or temples, it is considered a sign of respect for all male attendees to wear a head covering, usually a yarmulke (kippah )* is provided near the front door. Most Reform temples do not require people to cover their heads (neither Jew nor gentile). • Parts of the service are recited standing; visitors are expected to stand together with the congregation. • Bowing is done at certain points in the service; visitors are not expected to bow. • Non-Jewish visitors are not expected to wear a tallit. ** • Appropriate dress for a house of worship is expected. In Orthodox synagogues, women may be required to wear long sleeves (past the elbows), long skirts (past the knees), a high neckline (to the collar bone) and cover their hair (only married Jewish women). For men, short pants or sleeveless shirts are generally regarded as inappropriate.

  35. Torah (TOH-ruh) or Written Law • The Torah: • The holiest book in Judaism. • Given by G-d to Moses at Mount Sinai. • Consists of the Five books of Moses: • Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers • & Deuteronomy. • Contains 613 commandments or mitzvot. • The SeferTorah: • Traditional Torah scroll, hand written on • parchment, used during religious services. • Decorative embellishments are symbolic • of the garb worn by the High Priest of old • when he served G-d in the sanctuary of • the Temple in Jerusalem.

  36. Hand written in Hebrew, on parchment • from a kosher animal. • Read right to left. • A yad (YÄD) or pointer is used to • follow the wording so as not to damage • the delicate parchment. Sefer Torah used during religious services. Yad or pointer. • Read weekly in synagogues on Shabbat* mornings as well as on Mondays and Thursdays, and on holy days and festivals. • Each week a different parshah (PAHR-shah) or portion is read along with a passage from one of the books of Prophets. This is called the Haftarah (hahf-TOH-ruh) portion. These selected passages “complete the reading of the Torah” and are related either thematically or otherwise to the portion of the week. • Some synagogues employ a Triennial Cycle whereby each Torah portion is divided into three sections. The first sections are read during one yearly cycle followed by the other two sections the following two years. In this way it takes three years to complete the reading of the entire Torah. • In most congregations, the Torah is chanted according to a musical system called trop (TRŌP).

  37. Jewish man bending over Torah scroll in the Lodz Ghetto. The Rabbi of the city carries a Torah scroll on his way to a deportation train. Iasi, Romania

  38. Other Jewish Holy Texts • Bible(Tanakh, ta-NAKH) Tanakh - Hebrew acronym for the 3 sections of the Bible: Torah (5 Books of Moses) + Nevi’im (Prophets) + Ketuvim (Writings) To the Christian world, the Tanakh is the “Old Testament.” Since Judaism recognizes the Christian “New Testament” as a historical, not religious text, the term “Old Testament” is not used. Instead it is preferable to use the term, “Hebrew Bible.” • Mishnah(MĬSH-nuh) Jewish tradition holds that when G-d gave Moses the Torah (the Written Law) on Mt. Sinai, he simultaneously provided him all the details of the Oral Law. The Oral Law explained how the commandments in the Torah were to be carried out. It is believed that Moses subsequently transmitted that Oral Law to his successor, Joshua, who transmitted it to his successor, in a chain that is still being carried on . Mishnah (Hebrew for "instruction"), c. 200 C.E. is the written form of the Oral Torah created at the end of the second century. Arranged topically, it was composed of discussions & decisions by rabbis that became the authoritative source of Jewish Law. • Gemara(gə-MAR-ə) (also Gemora) (Aramaic for “to study"), c. 200-600 CE – The part of the Talmud that contains rabbinical commentaries and analysis of its predecessor, the Mishnah. • Talmud(TAHL-mud) The Talmud has two components: the Mishnah (c. 200 C.E.), the first written compilation of Judaism’s Oral Law, and the Gemara (c. 500 C.E.). It is a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, customs, and history. In Jewish life the terms Gemara and Talmud are often used interchangeably. • Midrash(MĬD-räsh) The word Midrash is based on a Hebrew word meaning “interpretation.” Midrash consists of legends and stories, both educational and entertaining, which complement rabbinic theology and allows the rabbis to explain and expand on the Torah. • Prayer Book(Siddur, sĭd-OOR) Most siddurim (plural) contain the prayers, arranged in a specific order, that are used for religious services. These prayers express the beliefs, hopes and yearnings of the Jewish people for a world ruled by justice and compassion.

  39. Samuel David Grosman studying the Talmud in the Lodz Ghetto. Samuel and his wife Chana both perished in the Lodz Ghetto in 1942.

  40. Daily Prayer • Recitation of prayers is the central characteristic of Jewish worship. These prayers are found in the siddur (sĭd-OOR), the traditional Jewish prayer book. • Jewish prayers are usually recited in Hebrew, yet they can be in any language. • Observant Jews are expected to pray three times daily (morning, afternoon, and evening) and more on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. Since the Jewish day begins at sundown, the evening prayers are technically the first prayer service of the day. • While solitary prayer is valid, attending synagogue to pray with a minyan (MĬN-yən), or quorum of 10 adult males, is considered ideal. • Rabbis are not endowed with special powers. However, the Talmud does provide the Rabbi with the authority to make interpretations of Torah. Rabbis are, however, ordained. This is a recognition of a rigorous level of training or education as defined as appropriate for the community in which the Rabbi has studied. • As with most religious services, the length and content of the synagogue service depends on the customs of the particular synagogue. In general, one can expect to hear the most Hebrew in an Orthodox service and the least in Reform services. Services in Reform synagogues also tend to be shorter than those held in Orthodox and Conservative synagogues.

  41. Shema One of the most important of all Jewish prayers is called the Shema. The Shema affirms belief and trust in the One G-d. It is repeated by observant Jews twice a day. It is the prayer Jews recite as their last words before death. Its main content is loving the one and only God with all one’s heart, soul and might. The first part of the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) is as follows: In just this one paragraph of the Shema, it is possible to understand why Jews designed the tefillin (phylacteries)* to place as symbols on the head (above the eyes) and on the arm; and why most Jews place a mezzuzah on the doorpost of their houses to remind them of G-d. Sh'ma Yis'ra'eil Adonai Eloheinu Adonai echad.Hear, Israel, the Lord is our G-d, the Lord is One. Barukh sheim k'vod malkhuto l'olam va'ed.Blessed be the Name of His glorious kingdom for ever and ever. You shall love the Lord your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words, which I [G-d] teach you this day, shall be upon your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be for a reminder before your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.

  42. Kaddish The Kaddish is a prayer that praises G-d and expresses a yearning for the establishment of G-d's kingdom on earth. Originally recited by rabbis when they had finished giving their sermons (the Rabbi’s Kaddish), in time the prayer was modified and became associated with mourning. The prayer itself does not actually mention death The word Kaddish means sanctification, and the prayer is a sanctification of G-d's name. The emotional reactions inspired by the Kaddish come from the fact that it is recited at funerals and by mourners. Jewish tradition requires that Kaddish be recited during the first eleven months following the death of a loved one and thereafter on each anniversary of the death, called the Yahrtzeit (YÄR-tsīt). The first lines of the Kaddish are: Yit'gadal v'yit'kadash sh'mei raba, b'allmaw dee v'raw chir'utei. May His great Name grow exalted and sanctified, in the world that He created as He willed.

  43. Religious Clothing & Objects Kippah or Yarmulke Tallit Tefillin

  44. Kippah or Yarmulke • Akippah (KĒ-pah,Hebrew), kippot (plural) or yarmulke (YAH-mi-kuh, Yiddish) is a thin, slightly-rounded skullcap traditionally worn by Jewish men during religious services. The more observant wear a yarmulke all the time. Some Jewish women in Conservative and Reform congregations also wear them during services. • Kippot come in all shapes and styles. • While not a biblical law, head covering is considered an important custom that symbolizes the acceptance of a “higher power” above us. It is also seen as a sign of respect.

  45. Tallit The Lord said to Moses as follows: Speak to the Israelite people and instruct them to make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments throughout the ages; let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner. That shall be your fringe; look at it and recall all the commandments of the Lord and observe them… Numbers 15:37-39 Tzitzit (TZĒT-sēt) Thesefringes or tassels attached to the corners of the tallit are a reminder of the G-d’s 613 commandments. Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value. The numerical values of the 5 letters that comprise the Hebrew word tzitzit add up to 600. Add the 8 strings and 5 knots of each tassel, and the total is 613. In addition, each tzitzit should have a thread of blue to represent the heavens. Tallit Katan, Small Tallit Worn throughout the day by Orthodox Jewish men. Often worn beneath one's shirt so as to conform to societal dress codes. Tallit (tah-LĒT),Prayer Shawl Shawl-like garment worn by observant Jewish men and some Jewish women over the clothes during the weekday morning service, the Sabbath, and other holidays. There are tzitzit attached to the corners.

  46. Tefillin Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our G-d, the Lord is alone. You shall love the Lord your G-d with all your hear and with all your soul and with all your might. Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day. Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead; inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. - Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Tefillin (t’FĬL-lĭn),called phylacteries in English, are worn by observant Jewish men and by some Jewish women as a reminder of their Covenant with G-d. They are put on during morning prayers only, not on the Jewish Sabbath or most holidays because these times are signs in themselves of the Covenant between the Jewish People and G-d. Tefillin consist of two leather boxes. Each box contains strips of parchment inscribed with the four passages of the Torah that mention the mitzvah (commandment) of wearing tefillin. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 , Deuteronomy 11:13-21, Exodus 13:1-10 and Exodus 13:11-16. One of the leather boxes is worn on the head between the eyes, resting on the cerebrum, to remind Jews to subject their thoughts to G-d's service. The other box is worn on the left arm so that it rests against the heart, and the suspended leather strap is wound around the left hand and around the middle finger of that hand. This to remind Jews to subject their deeds to G-d's service and to subject their hearts' desires to G-d's service.

  47. Jewish men praying in a displaced persons camp in Leipheim, Germany.

  48. Other Jewish Observances Brit Milah, Circumcision Bar / Bat Mitzvah Weddings Death Mezuzot Kashrut, Jewish Dietary Laws

  49. Brit Milah, Circumcision The first Jewish life-cycle celebration for the male baby is the Brit Milah (BRIT mē-LÄ) or the Covenant of Circumcision. It is commonly referred to as a bris (brĭs). With this ceremony, Jewish males are brought into the community of Israel, marked for life as Jews, and given a Hebrew name. The practice of brit milah is common to all religious movements within Judaism. It is performed on the 8th day after birth, usually in the home or the hospital. Among Conservative and Reform Jews (and sometimes even among Orthodox Jews), a naming ceremony in the home or in the synagogue welcomes female babies to their new Jewish identities. The ceremony consists of the removal of the foreskin of the male organ. This symbolic act reminds Jews of the pledge G-d made to Abraham (Genesis 17:2) in which he promised to bless Abraham and make him prosper if Abraham, in turn, would be loyal to G-d.

  50. Bar/Bat Mitzvah At the age of 13 (12 for girls), boys and girls are initiated into adulthood in the Jewish community. Young adults become obligated to observe the mitzvot (commandments) of Judaism and must show that they have sufficient command of Judaism and of Hebrew to lead the congregation in prayer. In addition, they can now be counted in a minyan (the minimum number of people needed to perform certain parts of religious services). The ceremony is called Bar Mitzvah for boys and Bat Mitzvah for girls—the terms are identical, one being masculine and the other feminine; both mean “Child of the Commandments.” Technically, the term refers to the child who is coming of age, and it is strictly correct to refer to someone as "becoming a bar (or bat) mitzvah." However, the term is more commonly used to refer to the coming of age ceremony itself, and you are more likely to hear that someone is "having a bar mitzvah." During the Bar Mitzvah ceremony, boys (and sometimes girls) are called before the congregation to lead the congregation in worship and to read from the Torah. Both boys and girls read also from the Haftarah, a weekly selection from the Prophets loosely connected to the weekly Torah portion. Bar or Bat Mitzvah provides an important occasionfor family celebration. Everyone joins in the worship service at the synagogue, and often a party is held in honor of the Bar or Bat Mitzvah.