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Describe and explain the ways in which the Sabbath is observed in the Jewish home and Synagogue

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Introduction

A) Describe and explain the ways in which the Sabbath is observed in the Jewish home and Synagogue The Jewish celebration of Sabbath (or Shabbat) is celebrated from sunset on Friday evening until sunset on Saturday. The Jews will usually celebrate the Sabbath at home and at the Synagogue in different ways. The Sabbath takes place on a Saturday, as that is the day God rested. It is also this day as the 10 commandments state that as God rested on this day then so should the Jews. At home, most members of the family will gather at the house of the eldest capable of hosting the rest. All the family leave work or school between 2 and 3 o'clock and change into their best clothes. At the home timers are put on the lights and the bulb is taken out of the fridge door. This is most likely only in orthodox Jewish homes, as they will take their laws more seriously than the progressive Jews. The preparation for the celebration starts on Friday afternoon; this is when the whole house is cleaned as though the family are preparing for a party. On the Friday evening, the Sabbath candles are lit and the blessing of the father to the children is made, this must be done no later than 18 minutes before sunset. The two candles are signs of two commandments, Zacher, which is remembrance and Shamar meaning, observe. ...read more.

Middle

On this day they will always eat Kosher meals, as at all other times in the year, they will not drive a car, this is thought to resemble lighting a fire- forbidden to do on Sabbath in Torah, and this can be seen because the car parks at Orthodox Synagogues are always closed during Shabbat. The Jews will also not be allowed to cook, write or turn on lights as the Torah forbids that any creative work may be done at Shabbat because as God rested on this day then why should the Jews work. The above three examples are forbidden because they either result in fire being made, which is not allowed, or can have a creative effect, i.e. letter to politician. Other everyday happenings not allowed are turning on/ watching television and driving a car. These are both because they use electricity or petrol and so mean a flame being created to start them. Progressive Jews are those that have broken off from the orthodox Jewish community. Their main difference to the orthodox Jews is that they do not believe that the Torah is the exact word of God. However, Progressive Jews are still as strict about moral laws for the community but less concerned about ritual laws. Progressive Jews believe that as the rules have been intended for man then the ancient rabbis have written the Torah. ...read more.

Conclusion

Firstly, they might miss out on schoolwork due to the timings of celebrations, although some schools acknowledge the faith and the problem can be averted. Secondly the children might lose out on the social aspect of their life. If they have to spend every Friday night and Saturday at home to celebrate the Sabbath, then their non-Jewish friends might think that something is strange and, as a result, will not invite them around, as they know that the children cannot come. The final area I think there would be a problem for the household would be where the family splits or family members move far away. For those who are divorced there would be the issue of what happens at Passover, Shabbat etc. Which house do they visit, which parent would take the children? All of these pressures build up in the family and it could suffer. Also, for those who live far away, the strain of getting to the house for the celebration may be too much and they may decide not to go at all. This may cause an argument in the family, which again is due to the rituals that would be taken. In conclusion I believe that Jewish families do mostly become stronger as a result of the rituals in the home as they allow children to learn and the family unit to become one. However, as with anything, there may be a problem in some families. ?? ?? ?? ?? Thomas Cullen Page 6 Thomas Cullen RE Coursework 2 ...read more.

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