Jewish Culture

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 21 December 2016

Jewish Culture

The first Jewish custom, Brit Milah also known as circumcision, takes places at the birth of a boy baby. It is carried out on the eighth day after the baby has been born; it is performed by a Mohel, where the baby’s foreskin of the penis is removed. The second Jewish custom is called The Naming Ceremony, which takes place on the first Sabbath that immediately follows the birth of a baby girl. This event takes place inside of a synagogue. On this day either parents or just the father is called for a blessing and a reading to the torah.

The third Jewish custom is the Bat/ Bar Mitzvah, this ceremony marks and commemorates the entry of a young Jew into the Jewish adult community. This ceremony has been in practice for the last 450 years. The person concerned in the Mitzvah is required to read the Haftorah which is the portion of the Torah for the week and then give a scholarly comment or speech. Bat Mitzvah is the name of the ceremony for girls, and Bar Mitzvah is the name of the ceremony for boys. Ideal gift would include; Mezuzah cases, Charity boxes, and or Kiddush cups.

The fourth Jewish custom is called a Simcha, which is also known as Marriage, and it is performed under a canopy. The fifth Jewish customs is called The Mikovaot this ceremony is a cleansing bath that is a ritual and is one of the longest standing practices in Jewish customs. This ceremony is performed to endow marriages. Orthodox Jewish women are required to dip themselves in this bathe very month after their menstruation before they resume relations of marriage with their husbands. Language: there are various Jewish languages and dialects that developed in the Jewish communities around the world.

Hebrew was the daily speech of the Jewish people for centuries, but by the fifth century the closely related Aramaic joined Hebrew as the spoken language in Judea. By the third century Jews of diaspora were speaking Greek and soon afterwards Hebrew was no longer used as a mother tongue. For centuries Jews worldwide spoke the local or dominant languages of the region migrated to, where they would develop distinctive dialectal forms or branching off as independent languages. Among the most widely spoken Jewish languages to develop in the diaspora are; Yiddish and Ladino.

Yiddish is the Judeo- German language developed by Ashkenazi Jews who migrated to central Europe. Ladino is also called Judezmo and Muestra Spanyol is the Judeo- Spanish language developed by Sephardic Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula. Religion: the Jewish religion is the monotheistic based on the belief in a single all powerful God. The Jewish doctrine is based on the Ten Commandments as spelt out in the Old Testament. The Hebrew bible had provided the foundations for Christianity. Jesus, Mary and the Apostles were all Jews and the origin of many Christian festivals, psalms and beliefs lay in Judaism.

The Jews refused to convert to the new faith of Christianity which is called the New Testament, so they stubbornly maintained their separate religious beliefs and their distinct customs and laws. The Jews also have a Shabbat which takes place on the seventh day of the Jewish week and is the Jewish day for rest. Jew recall the biblical creation account in Genesis in which God creates the Heaven and Earth in six days and rests on the seventh day. Immigration trends: the Jews of Eastern Europe began to emigrate in large numbers from their homelands, beginning in the 1880’s.

Between 1881 and 1914 about 2,370,000 Jews fled from poverty and oppression, especially from Trarist Russia notorious for its violent anti- Jewish mobs and pogroms. A great number of these Jews reached the United States and a small minority would establish the first modern Jewish settlements in Palestine. By 1924 the United States had placed strict limits on immigration and the number of Jews admitted was drastically decreased. Other countries soon followed suit and Jews desiring to emigrate or flee from the Nazis found themselves faced with sealed boarders throughout most of the world in the 1930’s.

Foods: the Jews have a set of laws about the food they can and cannot eat, these laws are called Kashrut, and a food that is not in accordance with the Jewish law is called Treif. In the Kashrut law, there are prohibitions to consume species (such as pork and most insects), the mixtures of meat and milk, and the commandment to slaughter mammals and birds according to a process known as Shechita. Most of the basic laws of Kashrut are from the Torah’s books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The Torah does not state the reason for most of the Kashurt laws, but for every law that the Kashurt has each one is biblically written in the bible.

Some of the Jewish favourite foods include the following; Babka which is a chocolate – filled challah (egg) bread. Bagel is another favourite Jewish food that is boiled and baked yeast bread. Bialy which similar to bagel, filled with onions and other ingredients there is also Brisket it is a raised meat from the chest area of a cow. Challah is another favourite food it is braided egg bread, Charoset is an apple and nut dish generally served at Passover. Cholent/ Chamin are a slow- cooked stew meat, potatoes, beans and barley. Another favourite dish is Chopped liver, Chrain and pickled horseradish.

Farfel is small pellet- shaped egg pasta, used in dishes like kugel. Goulash is a meat stew matzaball soup, and last but not least the Jews love to drink Chicken soup on Friday and Saturday nights. Community events: the Jews have their Synagogues where they have their Jewish celebrations. The Jewish community also celebrates Passover, when the Jews celebrate Passover they are not allowed to use any electricity, and they light candles. The Hanukah is the festival of lights; they also celebrate the Rosh Hashanah which is the Jewish New Year.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

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  • Date: 21 December 2016

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