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The Shabbat is a festival, which is celebrated from sunset on Friday night until the stars appear on Saturday night. This is celebrated every week and is a big part of a Jew's life.

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Introduction

R.E. Coursework The Shabbat is a festival, which is celebrated from sunset on Friday night until the stars appear on Saturday night. This is celebrated every week and is a big part of a Jew's life. The Shabbat is celebrated in many different ways in different Jewish home's and synagogues. Here are some of the most popular things Jewish families do throughout the Shabbat. The Jews are forbidden to work because it is supposed to be a holy day and they should devote themselves to prayer and studying the Torah. Rabbi Saadi Gaon said, " to achieve rest from the abundance of ones toil..." which shows his commitment to resting on the Sabbath. Preparation, cleaning and cooking are done differently on the Sabbath because they have to prepare the meal and house before the Sabbath starts because cleaning and cooking is forbidden once Sabbath has started. " God made the 7th holy day by resting after making the world" (Exodus 20:8-11) backs up this command from the Torah. The mother lights candles before sunset because the home is central to Judaism and the mother looks after the house beginning on the Sabbath. "When I light the Shabbat candles I feel like God is blessing me" Berachan of God quoted. This shows the mother feels she has done her duties to God once the candles have been lit. The Father blesses the children during Sabbath. This shows the father's prayerful wishing that the children should grow up to follow the examples of righteous men and women of the Jewish history. The Father then recites the Kiddush, which is a blessing to thank God for giving Shabbat to Jewish people. Following this the family all wash their hands, which is an act of purification. The Father recites blessing over Challot. It is normally a thank you blessing to God for 'bringing bread out of the ground'. ...read more.

Middle

The Kiddush is a holy moment, which is shared with the family. This is a time, which unifies and strengthens as all of the family focus on sharing objects with each other. The men usually lead this time but in Progressive Jewish families, the women sometimes do it. The wine, which is, drank during the Kiddush or any time in the Jewish religion, is a symbol of linking the families together and sharing with each other. It is a symbol of sacrifice of the poor and can bond families together while sharing this thought. Havdalah which means division is a time which shows division from the rest of the world and so being a family at this time shows how a family is special and not everybody in the world is lucky enough to have one as loving or caring as yours. All these things make families realise how lucky they are t have each other and that sharing things is the best way to bond a friendship or relationship with someone. Sharing things with your family might not strengthen the family relationship as it might cause tension between family members. Spending too much time with your friends or family can cause arguments and you cannot necessarily enjoy the time you spend with them, as you would if you didn't spend as much time with them as often. If I had to share family rituals as often as they do, then I don't think it would strengthen our relationship. I wouldn't feel as if I had any independence and I would always feel as if everything I did had to be shared with my family. However I can see how some families enjoy sharing things and how it brings them closer together and would make them feel a closer community. I can see both sides of the argument but I feel that if I was in this situation I would feel isolated and non-independent if I had to share everything with my family. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think you would feel as though your parent ruled your life and you weren't allowed to do anything. I think the overall benefits of keeping all the rituals are that you spend quality time with your family and can have the self- control in you, to stick with the religion and not give in however hard it may be at times. I think the best parts of keeping religious rituals are that there are many celebrations and festivals throughout your life, which you remember, and the rituals you share with your family mean a lot to you. This is most special to you later on in your life when you have your own children and have to teach them to follow in your footsteps and become a faithful Jew like yourself. There are some differences between Liberal and Orthodox Jews. They observe Shabbat in different ways. The Orthodox Jews will not do any of the forbidden activities including driving, cooking or turning on a light switch. Whereas the Liberal Jews will not be so absolute in their attitude. They class work more as employment. The Liberal Jews may recite blessings in absence of the father. Whereas the Orthodox men will recite blessings in absence of the father and not the women. Only men will attend Saturday afternoon synagogue services in Orthodox synagogues. Whereas some women may attend afternoon services in the Liberal Jew. In the Orthodox synagogue, only men will read from the Torah but women are allowed to read from the Torah if they are a Liberal Jew. Orthodox men and women will sit separately in the synagogue but they sit together if they are Liberal Jews. In conclusion to what has just been said it shows the Orthodox Jews only let men read the Torah, whereas the Liberal Jews allow women to read it in the synagogues as well. Orthodox Jews are stricter in what they do and Liberal Jews will be a bit more relaxed in the duties they carry out during the Shabbat. ...read more.

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