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Belies, Customs And Religion Of Different Regions

1961 words - 8 pages

In an attempt to satisfy my curiosity about the practices, beliefs, and customs of different religions, I registered for a religion analysis and interpretation course. It was expected that this course would encourage individuals to use critical thinking, while highlighting religious key points, and recognizing different traditions and belief systems. The initial assignment presented in this course was a site visit report. This assignment required each individual student to be a guest of a religious site that did not belong to their religion. This assignment was an opportunity to explore the religious practices and experience a different concept of worshipping in an unfamiliar sect. I traded a Sunday morning at North Miami Avenue Church of God for a Shacharit service at Congregation Shaaay Tefilah. By attending this Orthodox Shul for a morning of service I would be able to point out the differences in Christian worship compared to Judaism.
The background of Orthodox Judaism traces back to the end of the eighteenth century as a reaction to Jewish emancipation and the age of Enlightenment. Orthodox Judaism can be looked at as an extension of traditions and habits of normal Judaism. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible, the Torah, and the oral Torah hold authority in the Jewish honor. Rambam’s thirteen Principles of Faith are the major beliefs of Orthodox Judaism in a nutshell. “Some sects of Orthodox Judaism claim the Jews, as the people of God, should live completely segregated from gentiles whereas other Orthodox sects believe Jews can keep the Torah and live in the secular world simultaneously” (Patheos). There are over 60 Jewish Synagogues in Miami-Dade County alone. Among the synagogues, there are also Jewish community centers, youth programs, schools, health care centers and more. Jewish schools are responsible for the education of children of Jewish parents, Majority of the Jewish schools focus on Judaism and the teaching of the Torah while others may aim at language and culture (Wikipedia).
As mentioned before, the Torah has authority when it comes to the Jewish religion but the Torah is used to only refer to the first five books of the Tanakh. The entire Tanakh is the Jewish sacred text. Another principal text in this religion is the Talmund, also known as the oral Torah. A candelabrum with seven branches called the Menorah is among the oldest symbols of Judaism and is considered the ancient universal symbol (Jewfaq). The menorah is said to represent Israel and their mission to become “a light unto the nations.” (Isaiah 42:6). The Kohanim is responsible for lighting the Menorah in the sanctuary and then replacing wicks and fresh olive oil in the cups. On the other hand, the Jewish star or the Star of David has the title for being a modern universal Jewish symbol. The symbol features intertwined triangles and is exhibited on the flag of Israel. The Star of David was not considered an official symbol in earlier times but in the 17th...

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