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Collective worship is essential for the Orthodox Jew'. Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view.

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Introduction

Neha Jain U5a Part 3 'Collective worship is essential for the Orthodox Jew'. Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view. I agree with the statement that collective worship is essential for the orthodox Jew. My reasons for agreeing with this are the following. Firstly, Moses commanded a public reading of Torah. This is related to communal worship as a minyan, a group of 10 men over the age of Bar Mitzvah, must be present before a reading of the Torah can take place. A minyan is required for other important prayers, one of which is the mourners' prayer, Kaddish. When someone has died, the mourners are obligated to recite this prayer each day for a specific period of time. In order to recite the prayer, they need a minyan, the quorum required for public prayer. The result is that the community assembles in their home while they are in mourning to enable the mourners to say Kaddish and thereby are able to provide support and consolation. Once the period of mourning is completed, seven days, then the mourners need to come to the synagogue to join the minyan there to say Kaddish. ...read more.

Middle

The parents, sons and daughters in a family will be in a holy state if the family meets in the morning and at night to worship God. Believers must encourage their families to continue to have a relationship with God because if religion dies inside the family it will not be found anywhere else. It is the responsibility of the father to make his house a residence for God otherwise he cannot keep away evil spirits. However I disagree with this statement for the following reasons. It isn't crucial for an Orthodox Jew to attend the synagogue for communal prayer. If a Jew doesn't go to the synagogue it will not make that person any less a Jew than someone who does go to the synagogue. A Jew who doesn't participate in communal worship will not be labelled as different to those that do. After all a person is born a Jew, so whether they take part in communal worship doesn't matter. A reason why private prayer is important is that secrecy is important, because we are praying in front of God and not before men. Jesus set us an example for prayer. ...read more.

Conclusion

You need look no further than the silent meditation that is found in every Jewish service called the Amidah--the central part of the Jewish service. During the Amidah each of us has the opportunity for our own private thoughts, prayers, contemplations and meditations. For this reason, the Amidah is probably my favourite part of a Jewish service. One may pray alone, but that cannot function as the mainstay in the life of a Jew. Jews need to come together to accomplish the many-faceted aspects of worship: prayer, study, celebration. All these things require the presence of other people; all are enhanced by the presence of other people. Hence collective worship is very important indeed essential for Jews. In both issues, the communal prayer is superlative over praying alone. Of course, other factors come into play. Someone broken-heartedly praying outside their child's hospital room, speaking to God from the core of their being is still the superior prayer over one who might feel confined from fully expressing themselves in public. Certainly people can pray by themselves, but collective worship is also essential at regular intervals because it brings the community together and that is important. Judaism is not a religion of the individual. It is more than a faith. It is a family-centred and community-based culture and civilization. It fosters interdependence and relationships with others. ...read more.

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