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Describe in detail the way in which a fully observant Orthodox Jewish family would keep this mitzvah. You should explain the symbolism of the various ceremonies and rituals where relevantShabbat is the only Jewish holiday

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Religious Studies Coursework - Feb 2004 - Judaism SHABBAT (1) "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." Exodus 20:8 Describe in detail the way in which a fully observant Orthodox Jewish family would keep this mitzvah. You should explain the symbolism of the various ceremonies and rituals where relevant Shabbat is the only Jewish holiday enjoined by the Ten Commandments, making it an especially important one to the whole family. It is observed on the seventh day in commemoration of the seventh day on which God rested after completing the Creation, and of God's role in history and his covenant with the Jewish people. Along with all Orthodox Jews, the family are strictly obligated to sanctify Shabbat at home and in the synagogue. They will all avoid work on this day and will engage in worship and study. The Talmud specifies the activities which they are to abstain from and, being Orthodox, the family would say that anything resembling these is work and is therefore forbidden on Shabbat. They stop their creative work in order to reflect on the powers God has given, making sure they make the right use of them. A member of the family, usually the mother or father, will use a Jewish calendar, diary or newspaper to find out the precise time Shabbat begins on that Friday evening. This is because it varies from week to week and it is therefore uncertain to which day the period between sunset and nightfall begins. Knowing the correct time is important to the whole family to ensure they are observing the rules for Shabbat for the exact length of time God expects from them and because the time division follows the biblical story of creation: "And there was evening and there was morning, one day" (Genesis 1:5). Shabbat lasts from sunset on Friday evening to sunset on Saturday. Before Shabbat each member of the family will carry out the necessary preparations so that they won't need or want to undertake any of the forbidden activities. ...read more.


This reflects on how the family feel about Shabbat. Instead of feeling like they are being cooped up inside all day, they feel there is much to learn and share. They are able to have a celebratory meal together and even invite friends and relatives, to be hospitable and make it more enjoyable. During the meal, the family are able to have deep and interesting discussions lasting long into the night. It is quality time, a time of connection, communication and inclusion. The women are especially enthusiastic to observe the tradition of candles and the lighting, because it is seen as a lovely sharing time which brings mums, daughters, grans, friends and guests close in the warmth and beauty of the moment. It is important to them, to know that Jewish women all over the globe do the same thing, and that gives a wonderful feeling of unity. Baking home made Challot for Shabbat is very satisfying for the women in the family. They are still able to keep the tradition, even if they are unable to bake their own, because it is easy to buy some from tasty Jewish bakeries that are now around. The celebratory meal fills the house with many wonderful aromas of traditional Shabbat food, including from the lunch for the next day, this increase the enthusiasm of everyone involved and especially entices the children to keep the festival traditional, whilst reminding and teaching everyone present of their dependence on God for all that is good in life. As technology progresses, keeping the traditions of Shabbat has become easier for the whole family, which makes them more enthusiastic to observe it as it always has been. For example, the family may eat a dish called 'cholent' for lunch. This will be left to keep warm on the stove, the low flame of which will be covered with a sheet of metal called a 'blech'. ...read more.


The bride then circles the groom to symbolise her basic rights for the rest of their marriage: food, clothing and sex. A betrothal blessing is said to sanctify the marriage. The groom places the brides ring on her right index finger to symbolise her acceptance. The Ketubah is read and signed before God to sanctify and bind the marriage, setting it apart from the betrothal. The ceremony is set apart from most other joyous occasions, by the blessings over wine. This is very sacred, as well as adding to the festivity. Kiddush is recited twice to sanctify the occasion. Fasting on the day of the wedding is a very important part of the holiness because the couple are able to make peace with God before entering the covenant of marriage. In Judaism, life is valued above almost all else to every day is considered holy, but death is not considered a tragedy or any less holy. Death is the last 'rite of passage', but is still considered very holy because they believe, like our lives, it is all part of God's plan. Candles are a sacred symbol in Judaism and so they are lit next to the body. The mourner recites a specific blessing, holier than usual blessings, to describe God as "the true judge". The mourners have a special meal that is very symbolic and holy. It usually consists of eggs (as a symbol of life) and bread. Death is such a holy occasion for Jews that it has a mourner's prayer called Kaddish. This is to reaffirm their faith in God, despite their loss. Holiness and faith is incorporated into every day of their lives, so I agree that every day is holy for them, but the specific festivals and 'rites of passage' are considered much holier days. The sanctity and importance of each of these extra rituals, brings every individual Jew closer to God. The focus of these days is completely spiritual, with none of the usual distractions faced every day. ?? ?? ?? ?? GCSE ...read more.

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