By Thomas Saunders

In the Judaism religion the followers are called Jews. Jews believe, worship and pray to only one God. The Jews believe God made promised to bless Abraham, the ancestor of the Jewish people and his descendants if they worshiped him and were faithful to him. God made a covenant with Abraham’s son, Isaac and Isaac’s son, Jacob. Jacob was also called Israel. Their descendants were known as the “Children of Israel”. The Jews believe God will send a Messiah to save them, unite them to defeat their enemies. Jews worship God in a place called a Synagogue. There they do most of their praying, worshiping and teachings. The Jewish worship leader is called a Rabbi. The Rabbi takes care of the Synagogue and is in charge of the teachings to the people. The most important books in Judaism are the Bible and the Talmud. The laws and teachings come from the Torah which is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible and Oral teachings. Like other religions such as Christians and Islamist, the Jews have the Ten Commandments and other laws which were given to Moses by God. These Commandments and laws told the Jews how to live their lives. Jews musts follow these Commandments and laws. The Talmud is the Oral laws of Judaism and the writings of these Oral laws and discussions by Rabbis of these oral laws. Popular Jewish holidays or Jewish festivals are Chanukah, Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kipper. Chanukah (festival of lights) is one of the most well known. It celebrated the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a successful revolt against the Greeks. The victorious Jews needed to light the Temple’s candelabrum for eight days but only had enough oil to light it for one day. However it stayed lit for eight days. Passover celebrated the Jews freedom from slavery and the exodus from Egypt led by Moses. Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. Yom Kipper is the Jewish Day of Atonement, a day of fasting and repentance for their mistakes. A popular sacrament is a Bar Mitzvah for boys where at age 13 they become men in a religious ceremony. Bat Mitzvah is the coming of age ceremony for girls at either age 12 or 13 where they become women. There Four Holy Cities in Judaism are Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and Tiberias. Jerusalem is the holiest of cities as it is the spiritual center of the Jewish people. Hebron is the burial place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Safed became a holy city following the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. Tiberias is where the Talmud was written and is the center for Rabbis learning and training.

Jewish Music - Hava Nagila