initiation of a thirteen year old boy into adult ritual responsibilities in the synagogue service. Some
branches o f Judaism parallel it with a Bat Mitzvah for girls. It occurs as part of a congregation’s weekly worship. In the
Bar Mitzvah (son of the commandments), the teenager reads a selection from one of the five books of Moses and from
the Prophets. Making the onset of adulthood at 13 is based on an ancient concept of legal majority. It p ublicly marks that
the child has ar r ived at ritual and moral responsibility.
the first five books of the Bible, attributed to Moses which have to come to be known as the Torah. Today,
the Pentateuch has served as the people’s identity since the Temple doesn’t exist anymore. The first five books of the
Torah are Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
‘order’. The term is used for the ritual Passover supper celebrated in the home, whose liturgy is called the
Hagadah. The six divisions of the Mishnah are also called orders or seders. The chief spiritual significance of the ritual is
one’s sense of historical participation where the ritual celebrates and imitates the Passover and it tells every Jew to look
at themselves as if they were a part of the Exodus.
: the Greek tra nslation of the Hebrew Scriptures, made in Alexandria in Hellenistic times. The Jewish
community adopted Greek culture and many Jews lost the ability to read Hebrew and only knew Greek. So the Torah was
translated in the 3
century BCE. According to the letter of Aristeas, this translation was the product of seventy scholars
in Egypt, who, working independently created identical drafts for the King by miracle. In this version, the three divisions
of Hebrew Scripture; Law, Prophets and Writing, were rearranged into four: law, history, poetry and prophecy.
small leather boxes, also termed phylacteries, containing words of scripture, tied to the forehead and forearm by
leather thongs. Traditional Jews wear them in prayer and their purpose is to fulfill the Biblical commandment to bind the
words of the Torah upon the hand and as frontlets between the eyes.
the ritual re-enactment of Jesus’ last meal with h is disciples, patterned after his sharing bread and wine as his
body and blood at h is final Passover meal with his disciples. The Orthodox term it the liturgy, Catholics the mass, and
Protestant the Lord’s Supper or Holy Commun ion. A Greek word that means thanksgiving, the Eucharist is universal
among Christians. During the mass, the off iciating priest will repeat the account of Jesus’ last supper, invited the
congregation to ‘communicate’. When the person receiving the communion (called communicant) receives the bread
only, is said to received it in ‘one kind’. But if dipped in wine before giving, it is said to be of both kinds.
a standard. A scriptural canon is the list of books acknowledged as scripture. The list of acknowledged saints is
likewise a canon. It includes the four gospels that had achieved universal acceptance through Christendom. Canon law is
the accumulated body of Church regulations and discipline. Clergy sub ject to the rule of a particular cathedral o r
congregation are also sometimes termed canons. Marcion was excommun icated by the church since he come out with his
own Canon which rejected Mathew and only included ten letters by Paul and an edited text of Luke’s gospels and Acts.
another best known ancient formulation named fro the Council of Nicea in 325 but ratified in its present
form in 381. Somewhat longer than the Apostles’ Creed, it covers many of the same topics as the Apostle’s Creed in more
detail. The Nicene Creed is recited in the Eucharistic services in the Catholic tradition. The Nicene Creed is more
specific about the Holy.
: the Catholic doctrine that the bread and wind of the Eucharist are at the moment of consecration in
the service miraculously transformed into the body and blood of Christ. Formulated at the Council of Trent, it is a
reiteration that the mass is a sacrifice. This is the correlation to Jesus’ words “this is my body” and “this is my blood.”
the ‘remembrance’ o f God and the most characteristic Sufi practice. The ritual may be public or private. The
congregational dhikr ritual is usually held before the dawn or evening prayers. It consists of the repetition of the n ame of
God or the Shahadah. It is often accompanied by special bodily movement and in some Sufi orders, by elaborate
breathing techniques. The performance often distinguishes the various Sufi orders from one another. Some intended to
stir the devotee into a state of frenzy and some is silent offered an inward prayer of heart.
a chapter of the Qur’an. There are 114 in total, ar ranged in decreasing order of length , apart from the first o ne,
the Fatihah. Before the compilation of the Quran, there were fragments of the Quran scattered. During Uthman’s reign as
caliph, these fragments were compiled and put in order of shortest to longest. The early Makkan surahs are generally
brief admonitions couched in terse and powerful verses. Later ones are didactic nar ratives or illustrative tales of earlier