JUDAISM

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Judaism started in Israel around 4000 years ago

Jews believe that there is only one single God who didn't just create the world but with whom everyone can have a individual and personal relationship with.

Jewish history begins with god and Abraham around 1812 BC , during the bronze age, in the middle east. Abraham is considered as the father of the family of Jews.

Moses, is also an important figure as he gave the Jews the Torah around 1250 BC. The Torah contains the law of god and all the stories of Jewish history

FESTIVALS

There are more than 13 festivals in a year for Jews. There are at a festival every week. These are some of them

Shabbat

Rosh HaShanah

Sukkot

Shemini Atzeret/Simkhat Torah

Channukah

Purim

Passover

Yom HaAtzmaut

Shavu'ot

Tisha B'Av

Shabbat

Shabbat is celebrated every Friday night to Saturday when you can see three stars in the sky. You light two candles first to begin the celebration. You then say a few prays and drink wine or grape juice. After, you uncover a bread called Challah which is platted and has risen a lot. Next the boys in the family have an optional chioce of going to synagogue. After that, we eat dinner and at synagogue there is lots of prays and talking from the Rabbi.

On Saturday for the whole day Shabbat is still going. You aren't meant use electronics or work. Once three stars are in the sky, to end the celebration we have Havdala witch is when you light two platted wax candles fill up a glass of wine or grape juice that can over flow as long as it is full, after a few prays you may drink it.

Then Shabbat is over

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Rosh HaShanah

Rosh HaShanah means ‘Head of the Year’ in Hebrew. It is the beginning of ten days when Jewish people think very carefully about their behaviour during the past year.

We remember what we have done, ask and pray to be forgiven for any bad deeds and promise to be better next year.

Rosh haShanah is a serious day and we spend a lot of the time praying.

Rosh haShanah falls on the 1st and 2nd days of Tishrei, which is the seventh Hebrew month (this will be in September or October of the secular year).

Jewish people also think of Rosh haShanah as the birthday of the world, the birthday of Adam, the day on which Sarah first learned that she would have Isaac, and the day Isaac was born.

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Sukkot

Sukkah is the Hebrew word for ‘booth’ or ‘tabernacle’. Sukkot, the plural, is the name of the festival of booths. Sukkot were the huts in which the Jewish people lived during their years in the desert after they left slavery in Egypt and before they arrived in the Promised Land (Israel).

Sukkot begins two weeks after Rosh Hashanah, on the eve of the 15th day of Tishrei. Inside Israel we celebrate it for seven days, until the 22nd of Tishrei, but outside Israel it lasts for one extra day until the 23rd day of Tishrei.

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Simkhat Torah

Simchat Torah falls on the last of the two days yom tov at the end of Sukkot, on the 23rd day of Tishrei.

It is the festival where we finish reading the Torah and start again from the beginning. Its name means Rejoicing of the Torah

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Channukkah

The name Chanukah (also spelt 'Hannukah' in English) means dedication. The name of this Jewish festival commemorates the rededication of the Temple. An alternate explanation is that the word chanukah consists of two parts: ‘Chanu’ means ‘they rested’ and ‘kah’ means twenty five’. This recalls the day when the fighting stopped and the Temple was rededicated.

Chanukah is referred to as The Festival of Lights or by another name, Chag HaUrim. This name describes the main features of Chanukah, which involves the lighting of a chanukiah (a candelabrum with nine lights). We celebrate Chanukah for eight days, from the 25th of Kislev (this usually falls during the English month of December).

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Purim

Purim is a festival celebrated on 14th of Adar which will fall in February or March.

when it is Purim we dress up, give presents and have fun. if you are wondering why it's because we are celebrating all Jews were saved by Queen Esther from the destruction of evil Haman.

Persian word pur meaning lot. It recalls that Haman cast lots to determine the day on which he would kill all the Jews.

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Passover

Passover or Pesach, as it is called in Hebrew, is the festival that reminds us of when the Jewish people were slaves in Egypt about 3,500 years ago and how God freed them from the evil Egyptian king Pharaoh.

The Pesach story is written in the Torah, in Exodus, Chapters 1-15 and is one of the most important stories in Jewish history.

Pesach starts on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Nissan, at the full moon. It lasts for eight days seven in Israel. The four days in the middle are called Chol Hamo’ed weekdays of the festival. In the English calendar, Pesach will be during April or sometimes in late March. As the Jewish calendar is lunar, the English dates of Pesach will change from year to year even though the dates in the Jewish calendar remain the same.

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Shavuot

Shavuot is the second of the three Festivals. It is celebrated for 2 days outside Israel and for 1 day in Israel. The name Shavuot means weeks because it falls 7 weeks after the 2nd day of Pesach. It falls on the 6th day of Sivan.

Shavuot marks the day that the Torah was given to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai. That day was a very unusual one, with lightning, thunder and the earth shaking. Moses came down from the Mountain, his face all red and glowing, and read the Ten Commandments to the Children of Israel.

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Tisha B'Av

Tsha B'av means the 9 of Av which is the fifth month of the year in the Jewish calender.

Lots of sad things happened on that day the main one is that the first temple was destroyed 421 B.C, then five hundred years later but still on the 9 of Av the second temple was destroyed by the Romans on purpose.

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interesting facts

Out of the whole of earth there are only 14 million people that are Jewish, half of these people live in either Israel or USA.

In Australia there are only 100,00 Jewish people, which is a tiny amount, it is less than the number of people that live in Randwick.

In four and a half years during world war ll 6 million Jews died and the 1.5 million of them were children.