THE JEWISH WAY OF LIFE HOLINESS IN LIFE The Jewish Way of Life, whose primary aim is to achieve holiness in life involves: TORAH WORSHIP ACTS OF LOVING KINDNESS TORAH Studying the Torah (the Five Books of Moses as well as its Jewish Interpretations) & observing the commandments in the Torah. WORSHIP: Worshipping One God ACTS OF LOVING KINDNESS Engaging in Deed of Loving kindness & Righteousness REVELATION Approximately 3,250 years ago, God gives the Torah to the People of Israel that includes: TORAH AND TALMUD 1) The Torah (i.e. Five Books of Moses) 2) A Jewish way to understand and interpret the Torah that remained in oral form & was not written down for more than 1000 years. When committed to writing, it becomes known as the Talmud. JEWISH PATH TO REDEMPTION Through observance of laws in Torah. Although there are important Jewish Beliefs such as the affirmation that there is only 1 God, God gave the Torah to Jewish People, soul is immortal and God will send the Messiah for the 1st time in the future, Jews emphasize: “Deed over creed”, observance over dogma. THE TANACH = HEBREW SCRIPTURES Hebrew Scriptures = Protestant Christian “Old Testament” but books different order. 1ST Part: Torah (Holiest part of Tanach). 2nd Part: Prophets (Joshua through 12 “minor” prophets). 3rd Part: Writings (remaining books of Tanach including Wisdom Literature & such books as Psalms, Ruth, I & II Chronicles, Daniel & Ezra-Nehemiah). JEWISH LAW 613 commandments in Torah. 2 types of Jewish law: 1) Ethical Commandments (Between human-beings) e.g. Giving Tzedakah (charity), not stealing, honoring elders 2) Ritual/Ceremonial Commandments (Between God and Jewish People) RITUAL LAW: MEZUZAH “And you shall write them [the laws] on the doorposts of your house and upon your gates.” --Deut. 6:5-9 Reminder to follow commandments RITUAL LAW: TALLIS = PRAYER SHAWL “The Eternal spoke to Moses: Make fringes in the corners of garments … when you look upon the fringe you will be reminded of all of the commandments.“ --Numbers 15:37-41 KASHRUT JEWISH DIETARY LAWS Involves combination of Ethical and Ritual Jewish Laws. Kosher = Fit, Proper. 1a) CHOOSE KOSHER ANIMAL: MAMMALS According to Torah, mammals that walk on land must have split hooves and chew their cud to be kosher. e.g. bulls, goat & sheep can be kosher. 1b) CHOOSE KOSHER ANIMAL: FISH According to Torah, must have Fins and Scales to be kosher. Shellfish never kosher 1c) CHOOSE KOSHER ANIMAL: BIRDS According to Torah, domesticated Birds can be kosher. Birds of Prey never kosher 2) MERCIFUL SLAUGHTER Reverence for all Life & Kindness to Animals. Not Causing Pain to Animals: Pious, learned Jewish Ritual Slaughterer, uses very sharp knife to cut animal’s neck so that it feels no pain. 3) DRAINING THE BLOOD Process of Soaking and Salting Meat Torah emphasizes: Soul/life of the animal is in the blood NOT MIXING DAIRY & MEAT I “Do not boil a kid in its mother’s milk” X 3 in the Torah Complete Separation of Dairy and Meat (Not eaten at same meal and separate trays, utensils and dishes) NOT MIXING DAIRY & MEAT II 3rd Category: Pareve—neither dairy nor meat. e.g. fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables. WORSHIP YARMULKE Yarmulke (a.k.a. Kippah, Skullcap) Most Orthodox men cover head all of the time to show humility before God. Most other Jewish men (& some Jewish women) wear Yarmulke for prayer & in synagogue. Most Orthodox women wear wig when in public. JEWISH PRAYER Traditionally, Jews go to shul, namely, to the synagogue to pray, 3 times a day, 7 Days a Week. Morning Afternoon Evening JEWISH HOLIDAYS MAJOR JEWISH HOLIDAYS I Mentioned in Torah & work restrictions on at least some days of Festival. (e.g. no writing, using money, driving/riding in car, lighting/ extinguishing flame, using electricity) Respect should be given to Jewish residents’ decisions in regard to baths, therapy & other aspects of care that can be rescheduled or modified so that they can attend Sabbath/Holiday Services & celebrations. MAJOR JEWISH HOLIDAYS II 2 white candles lit/blessed, Kiddush (a blessing) recited over wine/grape juice & Motzi (a blessing) recited over challahs (braided loaves of bread enriched with egg), except on Passover. Festive meals eaten & Torah read at Morning Services. THE SABBATH/SHABBAT Friday Sunset to Saturday Nightfall Weekly day of rest for Jewish People, commemorating creation of the world as described in Torah: God created entire universe in 6 days, rested on 7th day. Sabbath Morning Service Most important weekly Service occurs on Sabbath (Saturday) Morning when Jews read from the Five Books of Moses according to a yearly cycle of Torah reading so that during the course of a Jewish year, the entire Five Books of Moses is read. THE HIGH HOLY DAYS ROSH HASHANAH: THE JEWISH NEW YEAR YOM KIPPUR: THE DAY OF ATONEMENT ROSH HASHANAH I The Jewish New Year 2 day Holiday in September or very early October According to Jewish legend, celebrates anniversary of creation Start of “Ten Days of Repentance”: Jewish People examine their deeds during past year, make amends & resolve to do better in New Year. ROSH HASHANAH II Blowing the Shofar (i.e. Ram’s Horn) to spiritually “wake up” Jewish People to engage in repentance Apples & honey eaten to symbolize desire for sweet New Year New Year’s Cards sent to family & friends YOM KIPPUR: THE DAY OF ATONEMENT 1 day Holiday 9 days after Rosh Hashanah Holiest day of Jewish Year Culmination of ten days of repentance. Jews fast if healthy SUKKOT: THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES I 9 days long in September or October, begins 5 days after Yom Kippur Jewish harvest festival. Sukkah (i.e. Temporary Hut) built in which Jews spend time during Holiday to recall that ancestors lived in temporary huts after liberation from Egyptian bondage when wandering through desert for 40 years SUKKOT: THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES II Blessing & waving of lulav & etrog: “4 species”: branches/twigs from palm, willow & myrtle trees bound together & lemon-like fragrant fruit called etrog: waving of luvav together with etrog reminds Jewish People that God is everywhere. No work on 1st 2 days. SHEMINI ATZERET & SIMCHAT TORAH Last 2 days of Sukkot—no work performed Shemini Atzeret: 8th day of Sukkot Jewish People pray for rain in Israel. Simchat Torah: Last day of Fall Jewish Holidays. “Rejoicing over Torah”: Marks end of annual cycle of readings from Torah; Read last section of Deuteronomy & immediately begin reading 1st passage of Genesis Joyous processions with Scrolls of Torah & flags PASSOVER I 8 day Festival in March or April but work restrictions on 1st 2 & last 2 days only. Recalls liberation of Jewish People from slavery in Egypt over 3,000 years ago. Festive meal called “Seder” eaten on 1st two nights of Holiday: Involves eating foods & reciting prayers/blessings in specific order to re-enact passage from bondage to liberation. PASSOVER II Israelites hurriedly left Egypt so no time for dough to leaven. During Passover, Jews don’t eat leavened bread nor any foods that may contain leavened bread. Jews eat unleavened bread namely, “matzah”. Higher level of Kashrut throughout Festival. SHAVUOT I 2 days long in May or June “Festival of Weeks” or “Pentecost”: Occurs 7 X 7 days or 7 weeks plus a day (i.e. 50 days) after 2nd night of Passover. Celebrates God giving Torah to Moses & Jewish People at Mt. Sinai Dairy food eaten SHAVUOT II “Tikkun Lel Shavuot”: Studying Torah/sacred Jewish texts all night long or part of night on 1st night of Festival Reading Book of Ruth In some synagogues, Jewish youth mark conclusion of formal Jewish Study by celebrating Confirmation. MINOR JEWISH HOLIDAYS Not in Torah & no work restrictions HANUKKAH I Festival of Rededication 8 days long in late Nov. or Dec. Celebration of religious freedom; commemorates victory of Judah Macabee & small group of Jews over Syrian Greeks who sought to eradicate Judaism over 2,000 years ago. Miracles of Hanukah: With God’s help, small Jewish army triumphs over large Syrian Greek army; Judah Macabee & followers recaptured Temple in Jerusalem defiled by the Syrian Greeks; when rededicate Temple, discover small quantity of pure oil for the Menorah (ritual candelabra); oil lit Menorah for 8 days. Latkes (potato pancakes) eaten since fried in oil. HANUKKAH II 9 branched Menorah lit during the Holiday; middle branch is shamus (helper) that lights other 8 candles. 1candle lit on 1st night, 2 candles on 2nd etc. until all 8 candles lit on final night of Festival. Dreidel (Spinning Top) spun during the Holiday: One Hebrew letter on each side of top reminding Jewish People that “a great miracle happened there”. Hanukkah Gelt, (money or chocolate coins), given to children during the Festival. PURIM I 1 day Festival in Feb. or Mar. Celebration based upon the Book of Esther: King’s wicked viceroy, Haman, plotted to destroy Persian Jews but with help of God & through intervention of Esther & Mordechai, Haman defeated & Jews saved. Megillah, (Scroll of Esther) read; Graggers, (noisemakers) used to blot out Haman’s name. PURIM II Festive meal eaten on Purim. Friends send Shalach Mones (Gifts of Food) to one another & gifts to poor Hamentaschen, (three- cornered pastries filled with poppy seed or jelly filling that resembles Haman’s three- cornered hat or his ears) eaten on Purim Jews dress in costumes & perform comical Purim plays. ACTS OF LOVING KINDNESS Giving Tzedakah/Charity Reverence for Life Tikkun Olam: Being Honoring Elders God’s Partners in Fixing World VISITING THE SICK Recite prayer of healing when visiting the sick VIDUI: THE FINAL CONFESSION Prayer of Healing recited. Death as atonement for transgression Affirmation of Faith (Jewish Prayer from Deuteronomy): “Hear O Israel, the Eternal is our God, the Eternal is One.” Recited by resident or rabbi on his/her behalf. Rabbi should be called when Jewish resident critically ill. REVERENCE FOR BODY OF JEWISH DECEASED I Created in the divine image. For Orthodox Jews: Body of Jewish resident should not be touched by caregivers after death has occurred. For most Jews: Customary procedures are acceptable. REVERENCE FOR BODY OF JEWISH DECEASED II Shomer: “Guardian” Stays with body & recites Psalms. Chevrah Kaddisha: “Holy Society” of Jewish volunteers: Washes & places white shrouds on body. REVERENCE FOR BODY OF JEWISH DECEASED III No Autopsies unless to save life in future. No Cremation: Considered desecration of body. No Embalming unless mandated by State. Funeral should occur A.S.A.P. after death but not on the Sabbath or major Jewish Holidays. Donating Organs: Honoring the Deceased vs. Saving Life. Orthodox vs. Non-Orthodox. No Viewing: Casket always closed Simple pine box with no metal. COMFORTING MOURNERS: SHIVAH Traditionally, 7 Days. Family does not go to work. Services held in family’s home. Mourner’s Kaddish (Jewish memorial prayer) recited. Sending flowers not a Jewish custom. Donation to appropriate charitable organization is always appropriate. COMFORTING MOURNERS: SHELOSHIM 3 Weeks after Shivah. No attendance at celebrations, musical events. No attendance at weddings. No cutting of the hair or shaving. Attendance at Jewish Services as much as possible to recite. Mourner’s Kaddish recited. COMFORTING MOURNERS: THE TEN MONTHS Ten months after first month of mourning Jewish mourners who have lost mother or father continue to attend Services in synagogue as much as possible & recite Mourner’s Kaddish. COMFORTING MOURNERS: YAHRZEIT Yearly Anniversary of Death according to Jewish/Hebrew Calendar. Attend Services in synagogue & recite Mourner’s Kaddish. Rabbi announces name of deceased from pulpit. COMFORTING MOURNERS: YIZKOR Memorial Services 4 times a year at conclusion of major Jewish Holidays. BRANCHES OF JUDAISM ORTHODOX: “Traditional” CONSERVATIVE: “Mainline” REFORM: “Progressive” ORTHODOX Most traditional Jewish movement Believe that Jewish Way of Life not changed over time & very little chance that Judaism can change today. Believe that only men can become rabbis, lead Services & read from Torah. Most Orthodox Jewish men & women will not shake hands with person of opposite sex. Will expect same-sex caregiver as loved one. CONSERVATIVE “Mainline”, “middle of the road” Jewish movement Believe that that Judaism has changed & Rabbis can make changes in Jewish law. In 1980’s, role of Conservative Jewish women was equalized & they could become rabbis & cantors & lead Services for first time. REFORM Liberal/progressive Jewish movement Judaism has changed. Autonomy is emphasized: Each Jewish person decides for him/herself which Jewish practices are meaningful. More emphasis on ethical rather than ritual Jewish law. Men and women treated equally in every way. YIDDISH Regardless of denominational affiliation of Jewish Residents, most speak at least some Yiddish, which is Medieval German (German spoken 1,000 years ago) written in Hebrew Letters. E.g. “Zie Gezunt” = Be well!
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