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Worship in the synagogue and in the home.

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It is very important to Jews to be able to keep the beliefs, values and traditions of their religion, but this can be difficult when mixing with communities that have a different or no religion. Many of these different situations need the support of the family and the synagogue. Many Jewish children go to non-Jewish schools where kosher food is not provided at lunchtime. Daily school collective worship will most probably have a broadly Christian bias. Although Jewish boys may want to wear their little hats (kippah) as a mark of respect for G-d. Many people live in an area where there is not a synagogue and have to travel a long distance for communal worship. Orthodox Jews are expected to walk. Apart from the inconvenience of this, it makes it harder for them to get to know other Jewish families. A minyan, a minimum of ten men, is needed for a service to take place in most synagogues. The Sabbath begins at sunset on Fridays. In order to be ready for it, some people may have to leave school or work early. ...read more.


A boy is given his name during a circumcision ceremony, which is a very important Jewish rite. It is such an important ceremony that it takes place on the eighth day after birth, even if that day is a Sabbath. It is performed by a mohel, who is not necessarily a doctor or a rabbi, but is always a specially trained religious Jew. Most Jewish children attend two schools - their ordinary day time school with their non-Jewish friends, and a Hebrew or religious school on Sunday mornings and some weekday evenings. Part of being Jewish is learning about the religion, so that it will be properly understood. Boys must be able to read Hebrew well for their bar mitzvah, a ceremony that marks a boy's entry into the adult community at the age of thirteen. He must be able to chant or read a section from the torah scroll. At this stage of his life the boy becomes a man, and he is now expected to observe all the Jewish laws. ...read more.


It is hoped that every marriage will result in the birth of children, for they are considered very important, and the link between one generation and another. Not every marriage will work, and Judaism recognises divorce, although it is always a matter of regret. Family and friends often rally round to try to save a troubled marriage, and this support may account for the fact that divorce is usually less common in the Jewish community, than in the general community. In Jewish law a man must give his wife a get (divorce certificate) before they can remarry. Jewish tradition demands that the funeral, and burial, must take place as soon as possible after death- ideally within twenty-four hours, and usually within three days. Funeral services are always very simple, even among wealthy families: only a basic coffin is permitted, and the use of flowers is not encouraged. In death Jews believe, the rich and poor are equal, and no distinctions should be made between them. Cremation is not allowed among orthodox Jews, but it is common in the progressive groups. ...read more.

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