EDER 521 Lecture Notes - Jewish Holidays, Nevi'Im, Passover

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Published on 9 Feb 2013
The Synagogue is the Jewish equivalent of a church, more or less. It is the
center of the Jewish community: a place of prayer, study and education,
social and charitable work, as well as a social center.
-Synagogue means the "place of assembly".
-Synagogues do not pass around a collection plate like they do at most
churches because Jews are not permitted to carry money on holidays and
-Synagogues are normally positioned facing Jerusalem, which is the way
they are supposed to pray.
-Synagogues separate men from women because men are not supposed to
pray in the presence of women, they are supposed to focus on prayer, not
pretty girls.
The temple is the place in Jerusalem that was the center of Jewish religion
from the time of Solomon to its destruction by the Romans in 70 C.E. It is
the one and only place where sacrifices and other rituals were performed.
Traditional Jews believe that The Temple will be rebuilt when the Messiah
comes. They pray for this day continually and eagerly wait for it.
Jewish festivals and holidays serve to remind people of their history and to
distinguish them as a faith community. For Jews, festivals marks the Jewish
year and are a time for family, tradition, joy and reflection.
Some Jewish holidays/festivals include:-
1. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish new year, it falls in September or early
October. It begins a ten-day period of rependence, ending with the
festival of Yom kippur. The two days of Rosh Hashanah and the eight
days that follow concentrate on an assessment of conduct and
behaviour in the previous year. Jews request forgiveness from God
and from other human beings for their mistakes and trangressions. On
the Saturday evening before Rosh Hashanah, a service is held at the
Synagogue. At the service, an important ritual that is performed is the
sounding of the Shofar, the ram's horn. In biblical times, the Shofar
was used to call people together. Yom Kippur is the most solumn
religious day of the Jewish year, marked by a twenty-five hour fast
and prayers of repentance. Regular activities are avoided on this day
because the task of repentance is so important. Signs of luxury and
comfort are not allowed in order to demonstrate that this day is better
spent in prayer. Work is not permitted on the holidays of Rosh
Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the first, second, seventh and eighth days
of Pesach (Passover). For some Jews who live in a secular society, it is
hard for them because our holiday days are different from theirs. An
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observant Jew would take thirteen off of work just to observe
2. Hanukkah:- The best known Jewish holiday or festival is Hanukkah. It
is the festival of dedication, or lights. This is an eight-day period that
falls in December that celebrates the events of the Maccabean revolt
(see Judaism; History). As part of the celebration of Hanukkah, a
candle is lit for each of the eight days in a special candle holder, or
Menorah. Each night, families gather to light the candles and recite
specail blessings. In North America, it has become customary to
exchange gifts
3. Pesach:- "The feast of the Passover" is usually held in April, over
seven or eight days. This holiday is extremely important because it
commemorates the freeing of the Hebrews from slavery-Exodus. The
holiday celebrates the Jewish people's identity, more so than other
holidays. During the entire week of Pesach, Jews do not eat anything
chametz, or leavened, in order to commemorate the haste in which
the Hebrews has to flee from their oppressor. The Sedar, a ritual
service and ceremonial dinner, is held at home on the first night of
Pesach. It includes songs, special food, and prayers of praise.
Thirteen principle's of Faith:
1. God exists
2. God is one and unique
3. God is incorporeal
4. God is eternal
5. Prayer is to be directed to God alone and no other
6. The words of the prophets are true
7. Moses' prophecies are true, and Moses was the greatest of the
8. The written Torah and Oral Torah were given to Moses
9. There will be no other Torah
10. God knows the thoughts and deeds of men
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