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Unit 4A: Religious Experience & the Foundations of Faith Ln 3. What are the essential values that shape society? How do your beliefs (religious or non-religious) affect your attitude to these values. The Jewish Way of Life . FOOD: What are the main laws or beliefs relating to food?.

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unit 4a religious experience the foundations of faith ln 3

Unit 4A: Religious Experience & the Foundations of Faith Ln 3

What are the essential values that shape society?

How do your beliefs (religious or non-religious) affect your attitude to these values

The Jewish Way of Life

food what are the main laws or beliefs relating to food
FOOD: What are the main laws or beliefs relating to food?

Kashrut (in Hebrew) is the system of Jewish dietary laws. Kosher (kashur in Hebrew) means 'fit, or proper for use' according to Jewish law. The opposite of Kosher, as applied to food in Treif (in Yiddish), or trefah (in Hebrew) meaning 'not suitable for use', or 'forbidden'. The short answer to why Jews observe dietary laws is: because the Torah says so. The Torah does not specify any reason for these laws, and for a Torah-observant, traditional Jew, there is no need for any other reason. We follow the dietary laws, in a similar way to Islam, in order to show our obedience to God.Leviticus 11:3 states, “Whatsoever parteth the hoof, and is clovenfooted, and cheweth the cud, among the beasts, that shall ye eat.” Therefore, Kosher animals must have cloven hooves and chew the cud. They are slaughtered according to an especially humane method (Shechita); certain fats (tallow) and sinews are forbidden, and the meat is salted to remove all traces of blood. The Bible lists various birds of prey and other species of fowl that are forbidden. Only poultry with an ongoing tradition of kosher consumption such as duck, chicken, goose and Turkey, may be eaten. Only fish with fins and scales are kosher. Prawns, shellfish, turbot skate and sturgeon are all examples of non-kosher fish.

Meat and milk are never eaten in the same meal and different pots, crockery, cutlery and washing up equipment are used. Dairy food, even a cup of tea, may not be eaten until 3 hours after the consumption of meat or fowl. Other regulations affect wine, cheese and their derivatives such as wine vinegar and grape juice. All these products must be made under strict Rabbinical supervision.

Pots and pans, crockery and cutlery used for non-kosher food have absorbed some of the taste and are themselves considered non-kosher utensils.

clothes the law
Clothes: The Law

SHATNEZThe Torah prohibits wearing clothes made out of wool and flax, as it is written, "You shall not wear combined fibers, wool and linen together." (Deuteronomy 22:11) In Hebrew, this forbidden mixture is called "Shatnez."The Torah does not explain the reason for Shatnez, and it is categorized as a Chok - a law that cannot be explained. (As opposed to a Mishpat - which is law that can be derived from logic).Nevertheless, different reasons have been suggested.Rabbi Aaron Halevi of Barcelona wrote in his book "SeferHaChinuch - The Book of Mitzvah Education" the reason why it is forbidden to mix wool and linen together is because it destroys the spiritual fabric of the universe. This can be explained as follows:Each and every thing on earth, except for man, has its own spiritual force that influences it. When some of these earthly items are mixed together, they cause their spiritual counterparts to become entangled. Once entangled, they cannot perform their tasks as originally designed, thusly destroying the spiritual fabric of the universe. However, after the explanation, the author tacked on "We still need a Mystic to explain this." (SeferHaChinuch - The Book of Mitzvah Education #62)Another explanation, from the Talmud suggests that the reason stems from the fact that when Kain and Abel brought offerings to G-d, one of them brought flax (the plant that linen is made from) and the other brought a sheep (where we get wool from). For some reason, this mixture ended up being lethal and Abel lost his life. (See Genesis 4:1-17 and the Midrash - Genesis Rabbah)Whatever the reason, the laws of Shatnez are still applicable today, and one can find many Shatnez laboratories that can check to see if one's clothing contains Shatnez or not.

clothes the rules
Clothes: The Rules

MODESTYThis letter wouldn't be complete, without discussing the fact that clothes must be modest.When G-d created Eve, He said, 'From which part of Adam shall I create Eve? If I form her from Adam's head she may become pompous. If I make her from his eye, she may become a flirt! But if I create her from the rib, she will be modest! Since that the rib is always covered, even when he stands naked, that part is still covered!" (BereshitRabba 18:13)One of the great positives of dressing modestly, is that it draws attention to your personality - which is your greatest asset. If you are really looking for your soul mate, you will be searching for someone who loves you for who you really are, not for what your body looks like. Nevertheless, we see from the first love story ever to take place that not only did the young lovers walk around with few clothes -they actually walked around naked! Of course, I am talking about Adam and Eve, as it is written, "they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed." (Genesis 2:25)This is because they were at a level that they could see each other as souls, not just as physical beings. However, when they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, they fell from this high level, and began to see each other as physical entities, as opposed to a personality, or a soul. This is why they became embarrassed, because they realized that their sexual drive was so strong, that they began to reduce each other as beautiful sacks of flesh, and failed to see the holy soul that was enveloped within. (Genesis 3:7)

marriage sex family life
Marriage, Sex & Family Life

Judaism has very strict views on love and sex. These are based on passages from the Tenakh, the Jewish Bible.

Judaism believes that sexual intercourse is a very important part of human relationships but only as part of marriage. It is not natural for people to choose to be celibate because marriage and the family are such an important part of Jewish teaching. Many Jews hope to have large families as Abraham was promised:

Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them…. So shall your offspring be.

Genesis 15:5

Judaism teaches that the purpose for sex is not just to have children: it is also for married people to demonstrate their love for each other.

Marriage sanctifies the relationship between men and women:

The mating of animals is a temporary and purely physical act. Through the sanctification of marriage, a husband and wife become the closest of relatives.


Once people are married, sex is controlled by the laws of niddah (sexual purity). Women cannot have sex during their monthly menstrual period. After this is over she has a ritual bath (called a mikveh) then she can sleep with her husband again.

Do not come near a woman during her period of uncleanness.

Leviticus 18:19

Many Jews say that doing this every month helps to keep the marriage alive:

A wife returning from the mikveh is as fresh to her husband as on their wedding day.


These rules are observed by many Orthodox Jews but more Progressive Jews now think them to be out of date.

over to you
Over to You...

What other issues could arise in society today that can challenge Jewish moral beliefs and practices?

unit 4a religious experience the foundations of faith christianity moral behaviour

Unit 4A: Religious Experience & the Foundations of Faith – Christianity & Moral Behaviour

Moses and the burning bush

Mohammed and the Angel

Religious experiences


What are the main sources that inspire faith amongst religions?

St. Paul & the Road to Damascus

Abraham & The Hospitality of the Angels

The Disciples and Jesus’ apparition

the foundation of christianity
The Foundation of Christianity
  • Central pivotal figure in most religions
  • (Saul of Tarsus) -> St. Paul: Road to Damascus – learned of the gospel, not through others but as revelation from Christ himself
  • Significant experience Conversion – one faith to another (religious belief and philosophy)
  • Prominent figure in the spread of Christianity and the establishment of the Early Church.
  • Responsible for a majority of the N.T. (14 epistles on key Christian teachings and practice)
christian denominations
Christian Denominations




christianity moral behaviour
Christianity & Moral Behaviour

Main Influences:

  • Sexuality
  • Marriage
  • Charity
  • Environment & Family Life (Children & Upbringing)
  • Priesthood
  • Dress Code
  • Scripture
  • Dietary laws
  • Adam & Eve (influence of O.T. relationships)
  • Heterosexual Marriages ONLY
  • Sex outside marriage is wrong
  • Sex is for procreation
  • Homosexual relationships/acts condemned (NOT the homosexual, homophobia is sinful)
    • Leviticus prohibiting "lying with mankind as with womankind"
    • Sodom and Gomorrah have become synonymous with impenitent sin, and their fall with a proverbial manifestation of God's wrath
    • St. Paul: Romans – Disordered and Unnatural
    • David & Jonathan: The Centurion & his Servant
  • Sacrament - gift from God
  • Consummated through sex
  • Engage in sexual relationships – build intimate bond between couple and procreation
  • You shall not commit adultery
  • Church marriages & vows are important
  • Divorce
  • Annulment
  • Cohabitation?
  • Charity is love

– love is currency of Christianity

  • Offerings at Church
  • Almsgiving (Christian fesitvals)
  • Support Christian Charities
  • Jesus promotes acts of charity in Sermon on the Mount – acts are secret and not boastful

‘the right hand should know not what the left hand is doing’

environment family life
Environment/Family Life
  • Nuclear family: Best foundations for society
  • Fulfilling the Marriage Vows
  • Parental responsibility to raise a Christian family and encourage Christ-like behaviour (being a model to it)
  • Vocation
  • Christian ethos & values
  • Sacraments
leaders of the faith
Leaders of the Faith
  • Sacrament
  • Vocation
  • Holy orders
  • Worship in Churches
  • Catholicism: Apostolic Succession & Tradition
  • Catechists and guides
dress code
Dress Code
  • Dress appropriately for worship
  • Deuteronomy 22:5 ‘A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s, for the Lord your God detests this.
  • Dt:‘Do not wear clothes of wool & linen’
  • N.T. St. Peter: ‘I also want women to dress modestly’
  • Modest clothing
  • No dress code
  • Bible guidance – O.T. foundations
  • Jesus teachings & N.T.
    • Gospels (Miracles, Parables, Signs)
    • Sermon on the Mount
    • Acts & Letters of the Apostles
  • Writings of the Saints
  • C.C.C.
  • Festivals: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost & Holy Days of Obligation
dietary laws
Dietary laws
  • Gn. 9:1-14 allows meat eating under certain conditions
  • Gn. Implies vegetarianism as God’s original will
  • Timothy: ‘Every creature of God is good and nothing is refused if it be received with thanksgiving’
  • O.T. rules on acceptable meat, poultry & fish
  • Times of Observance – Lent/Advent: Times of repentance: Live/Eat simply
  • Fridays esp. Good Friday – No meat