Judaism


Judaism is intrinsically open to history. It looks forward to a future event -
the messianic redemption - that will dwarf the importance of Exodus. This paper
will discuss the important holidays of the Jewish year and a look into the
Holocaust from a Jewish standpoint. I talked to a friend of mine, Josh Cohen.
Josh practices Conservative Judaism. I also retrieved some information from a
book The Jewish Way; Living the Holidays. Rabbi Irving Greenburg wrote it. I
will first explain the holidays I discussed with Josh, and then discuss Josh
growing up in the Jewish culture.

"They particularly exemplify the focus on developing human capacity in the
Sabbath and days of awe. The primary, Holy days that nurture personal life
along the way. The Sabbat, on a weekly basis, and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippers,
annually, are the key periods of individual family renewal. These holidays
accomplish their goals primarily by lifting the individual out of a routine that
controls, too often, deadens daily life." The Sabbat is their weekly ceremony,
held Friday evenings, to celebrate the end of a work week. Rosh Hashanah - Yom
Kipper is the core that of being on trial for ones life. During that trial one
moves from life through death to renewed life. Also discussed in this paper is
Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Hanukkah stands for the temple that burned to
the ground. The Jewish people only had an oil lamp to provide light for six
nights and seven days. Therefore that is why they celebrate Hanukkah for six
nights and seven days. Passover is also discussed. It is a time where Jewish
families are to be fasting, no bread or meat. This last one week. Similar to
the Christian Easter celebration. When a Jewish boy turns, age thirteen into an
adult Jew they know it as a Bar Mitzvah. In order for this to happen a young
teenage boy must attend Hebrew school. They usually take place a couple times a
week. There are three types of Judaism worship Orthodox, Conservative, and
Reform. Orthodox would be the most religious, Conservatism being middle of the
road, and Reform being the least practiced.

Josh grew up into the Orthodox beliefs because of his grandparents. Josh\'s
grandparents, his father\'s mother and father, were Orthodox. His mother\'s,
mother and father were Conservative. Eventually his mother and father switched
over to the Conservative beliefs. The Orthodox beliefs would show the in the
center and the women on the outside. They viewed women as caretakers. There
are three temples in the city of Toledo. B\'NAI Israel which is the conservative
temple. Josh attends this temple. JCC, Jewish Community Center, which is the
Reformer temple. And, Etz Chay, the Orthodox temple. As a child his parents
were not strict followers. They didn\'t celebrate Sabbat every Friday but did
celebrate all the holidays of Judaism. Josh went Sunday to school every Sunday
to learn about the Jewish religion, and he went to Hebrew school every Tuesday
and Thursday. At the age of thirteen, Josh celebrated Bar Mitzvah.

The Worship procedures are conducted from the Torah, which is actually the Bible.
The only difference is they read the lessons in Hebrew. Since Josh is not full
practice of Judaism, he has a hard time following along. Since the Jewish
religion does not believe in Christ, they believe that Jesus was born a Jew.
They do not celebrate the birth of Christ, Christmas. I asked Josh did this
effect him growing up?, His peers mostly celebrating Christmas. As it turns out,
his peers were jealous of him. Being able to receive gifts seven days in a row
and being able to take off more school than the other children. Josh in turn
was very envious of his peers being able to receive their gifts all at once.
The questioned was asked what did your family do on December twenty fifth? "It
was a normal day for my family. We went to the movies as a family." Josh
celebrated his very first Christmas this past year. He celebrated with his
girlfriend and her family. I asked which celebration was to his liking? "It was
weird for him. I\'m not use to the huge family gathering and presents being
opened all at once. My family, during Hanukkah, says a prayer and lights a
candle every night. Hanukkah was more peaceful and subdued" He received a gift
every day though. I asked are the gifts you receive as outrageous as some
gifts kids receive nowadays, at Christmas? " It depends on the family. They
spoiled my sister, brother