• There is one God who is the creator of everything
  • God is immaterial (without form)
  • God governs the universe with honour and justice
  • Therefore, humanity has an obligation to worship God

Jewish Practices and Rituals

The Synagogue:

  • Place of worship and study
  • Sometimes called “Shul” (Yiddish for school)

The Torah Scroll:

  • Holy book
  • Most sacred object in Judaism
  • Always kept in a place of honour
  • Written on parchment (goat or sheep skin) and kept in a beautiful covering or container
  • Cannot be touched, so the reader uses a pointer to keep his/her place
  • Ark of the Covanent or Holy Ark – The cabinet on a raised platform in which the torah is kept when not being read
  • According to tradition, when the Hebrews received the 10 Commandments, they were told to keep them in an ark (cabinet).

Clergy:

  • Rabbi – trained scholar, teacher and interpreter of Jewish law, counsellor and officiant of special ceremonies
  • Cantor – singer who chants the worship service and leads prayers at the synagogue

Worship

Blessings:

  • Foundation of Jewish prayer
  • Way to acknowledge and thank God
  • 3 main types 1) to thank God for the 5 senses, 2) recited before performing a mitzvah (good deed), and 3) recited to praise, thank or ask God for something

Services:

  • To pray as a group, there must be 10 men (and/or sometimes women) over 13 years old present
  • Service in the evening, morning and afternoon
  • The day is believed to begin at sundown, so evening service is the first one of the day

Kashruth:

  • The practice of following Kosher dietary laws
  • Purpose of Kosher – establishes Jews as a separate and distinct group and shows the humanity and humility of Jewish people (animals are humanely killed, “because God said so)

Shabbat (Sabbath):

  • – One day each week to put aside work to focus on prayer, friends and family
  • Begins with dinner on Friday evening with specific food, songs and prayers
  • On sabbath morning, you would go to the synagogue
  • Ends with a brief service that formally ends Sabbath on Saturday evening, done at home

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