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by RachaelSkye
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
Religious Studies

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Faith at your FingertipsJudaism is said to be founded by Abraham, Issac and Jacob., around 1800 B.C.E., when Abraham promised to obey his one true god, in return for protection for his descendants. Abraham was from Ur in Mesopotamia, but founded the Jews among the Hebrews in what is now Israel, then called Canaan or Palestine. Around 1200 B.C.E., Moses, born among Hebrew exiles in Egypt, laid the beleagured exiles to safety and passed down many of the traditions amd laws of Judaism. The people pray directly to God but often recieved wisdom through prophets or judges appointed by God. They live by rules set down by these people. These rules include the Ten Commandmants. Other laws include a duty to worship God and live justly with one another, respect the old and wise, to not stand by when another is in danger, and dietary restrictions. These laws are all set down in the 613 Mitzvot, or Commandments. They govern everything from daily life to feast days. These commandments, come from the sacred writing of the Torah, a scroll kept in every tiemple that tells the story of the Jews, and the Talmud, a writing of laws and their interpretations. Important holidays include Rosh Hashana, one of the holiest days of the year, the New Year, Yom Kippur, the holiest day of all, the Day of Atonement for your sins, Rosh Chodesh, the fist of every month by the Jewish calendar, Birkat Hachama, a blessing of the sun every 28 years, and Tish B'av, a day of rememberance for the many misfortunes of Jews. When worshipping, many orthodox Jews are required to cover their heads. Prayer is melodic and people ofen sway; full concentration on prayers three times a day is expeced, in the morning, afternoon and evening. The Shabbat (or Sabbath) day is Saturday, when Jews may not work from sunset Friday to the next sunset. The role of women in Judaism is dual. Since Jews regard God as formless, he has no gender. Women are in many ways considered important, intelligent, or intuitive, and their are many significant women in Jewish tradition. Women are considered to have a positive influence on their family, and men sometimes considered weak when associating with women. A Jewish women is expected to put home and family above all else, even commandments. However, women are also said to be prone to laziness, gossip, and witchcraft. Jews have no priests as Christians know the world. Rabbis lead prayers, but are scholars of the Torah and helpers to the community, no more entitled to lead a ceremony than any Jewish man. Chazzans lead the song-like prayers. Otherwise, Jews are led by judges and prophets, in accordance with the Torah. In Jewish tradition, their are three festivals with agricultural significance as well as religious. These are Sukkot, when Jews build a small house and live in it in honor of the forty years their ancesors spent wandering, Passover, celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt, where they were enslaved, and Shavu'ot, celebrated 50 days after Passover in honor of the giving of the Torah. Chanukkah, the well-known Festival of Light, celebrates when the Jews were persecuted, holy oil in a temple which must be burned at all times was running out. The oil miraculously burned for eight days, and a festival was declared when Jews light candles to celebrate.

The Ten Commandments1. I am the Lord your God; Thou shalt have no other gods before me.2. Thou shalt not make for thyself a sculptured image.3. Thou shalt not swear falsely by the name of the Lord your God.4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.5. Honor your father and your mother.6. Thou shalt not murder.7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.8. Thou shalt not steal.9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.10. Thou shalt not covet.


These maps illustrate two important times in Jewish history. On the right is ancient history of the Jews, their founder's journey through the middle east as reported by the bible. They settled in the area that is now Israel, before going to Egypt to escape a drought, where they were enslaved and eventually escaped back to Egypt, when the Jews gained most of their laws. On the left is a map illustrating some of the many times Jews were forced out of their homes. Constantly belittled, Jews spread throughout Europe and eventually beyond to places such as America in order to escape constant religious persecution.




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