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Module 8: JUDAISM

Prerequisite Skills: Knowledge and skills in the application of spirituality

Instructor: Mrs. Nieves R. Madelar
Level: First Year College
Allotted Time: Three Hours
This module is designed to help you understand the basis of Spirituality of all existing religion
Upon completion of this module, you should be able to:
1. Develop a sense of spiritual awareness in Judaism
2. Appreciate the spiritual value necessary for the enhancement of their spiritual life.
3. Trace the beginning of Christianity.
1. Direction: Study the problem in each item. Write the letter of the correct answer on the space provided
before the number of each item.

Direction: Read the following sentences and write True if the stamen is correct and False if the statement is
wrong. Write your answer on the blank provided before the number of the statement

Key Words:
1. Torah-The Law, the first five books of the O.T
2. Shema- the first great rule of the Jew- Deut 6:4-5
3. Mezuzah- a little box placed on the right side of the front door of a Jewish home where the Shema is
4. Synagogue- the center for the Jewish community to worship and study the law, the prophets and the
Hebrew language.
5. Sabbath- the seventh day of the week; a day of next for Jews
6. Rosh Hashanah- Jewish New Year
7. Bar Mitzvah- the ceremony which marks the time a Jewish boy assumes responsibility as a Jewish
adult, a son of the commandment.
8. Jews- the descendants of Abraham, the nickname given by the Babylonians to the Hebrew people
when they were in Babylon (586- 538 B.C). the name Jew stuck so Jew became the proper name for
these people after the exile and the religion that began to develop was called Judaism.
Judaism is built upon these basic ideas:
1. God was in the beginning
2. He thought man through Abraham and the prophets
3. Someday he would send a Messiah to save his people and establish his kingdom
Jewish Holy Days:
1. Rosh Hashanah-The Jewish New Year is celebrated in late September or early October. This
marks the beginning of the Jewish year. Thirty days before Rosh Hashanah, they are reminded every
morning that is by approaching by the blowing of a very special horn called shofar. The New Year is the
time when all debts are paid, all forgiveness given, all sins and failure of the past year wiped away.
2. Yom Kippur (day of covering) comes ten days after. The Jews believe on this day the Book of
Life is closed for another year. If anyone has a sin to confess a brother to forgive, a wrong to
right- he must do it in ten days of grace or it shall never be wiped again.
3. Passover Festival or Pasach as it is known to the Jews center on an elaborate evening meal
(the Sedor) to commemorate the light from Egypt. Unleavened bread (Matzoth) is eaten to
commemorate the hasty flight; red fruit cake for the bricks made without straw bitter herb as a
reminder of their slavery, and roast lamb slain from which the blood taken to mark the lentils
(door posts) before they escape from Egypt.
4. Feast of Succoth (Booth, tabernacle or in- gathering), thanksgiving feast. A succah is a booth-
like structure made of poles and covered with vines, fruits and vegetables. This reminds the
Jews of how God protected their ancestors in the wilderness when they had no permanent
homes and led them into the Promised Land. At this time the synagogue is decorated with citron
and palm branches and the people say happy psalms.
5. Hanukkah- The feast of light is celebrated on the same date we celebrate Christmas (Dec.25).
This is in remembrance of the dedication of the altar in Jerusalem by the Maccabees in 165 B.C.
it is observed for eight days when a lamp is lighted each night.
Jewish and Christian Practices compared:
1. Jews attend the synagogue on the Sabbath 1. Christians attend church every Sunday

2. The synagogue is for Hebrew boys 2. We have Sunday School

3. The Jews have the O.T as their Bible which 3. We have the Bible with 66 books
has 39 books.

4. Every synagogue has a Torah, which is 4. We have crosses and Bibles in our churches
handwritten in Hebrew.

In only one way are the faiths of Judaism and Christianity different. A Christian may be defined
as a Jew who has accepted Christ as the new sacrifice for sin. A Jew is subjected to penalty of sin while a
Christian is not, for Christ has always suffered in our place.


1. Birth
a. If the new born bay is a girl, the father goes to the synagogue on a day when the Torah is read
(Sabbath morning and afternoon, Monday and Thursday mornings) is called to the Torah, recites
the traditional benedictions before and after the reading, and then officially announces the
name of the new baby.
b. If the new baby is a boy, the naming of the child is part of the major Jewish ceremony- the
Berit Milah, or circumcision- sign of the covenant between God and Abraham and renewed in
each generation through this ceremony- Gen. 17: 19-14
The circumcision may take place anytime from sunrise to sunset during the eight day. A
quorum of ten adult male Jews, known as a Minyan, is usually present. The one who performs
the operation is called a Mohel. He must be skilled in the necessary surgical techniques and
must also be familiar with all of the Jewish laws that govern the ritual. It is customary to honor
members of the family with roles in the ceremony. One member may bring the baby to the
room where the Berit is held. Another will hold the baby during the operation.
It is traditional to set aside the chair for the prophet. Elijah is believed to be present in
spirit at every Berit Milah. Following the ceremony, there is meal in celebration of the
performance of the Mitzvah, or commandment. Special prayers for the health and happiness of
the new born infant are added to the grace that follows every meal.
2. Pidyon Haben
- Redemption of the 1st born son
- The 1st born son in the family is dedicated to the service of God Exo. 13:13 or Numbers
18:15-16). In order to release the 1st born from this service, he had to be redeemed by the
payment of five shekels to the Kohen (priest), his surrogate. 1st born son of priest or Levites
and of daughters of priest or Levites are exempt from this ceremony.
- Like the Berit Milah, Pidyon Haben is an obligation of the father. The ceremony takes place on
the thirty- first day after birth. If the thirty- first day falls on a Sabbath or a major holiday, the
ceremony is postponed until the next day. The father recites the blessing and hands the Kohen
five shekels. Actually, the practice is to use the currency of the land, so that in the United
States, five dollars would give to the Kohen. The Kohen accepts the redemption money and
blesses the child. The money is usually given to the charity. The ceremony concludes with a meal
of celebration.
3. Bar Mitzvah
A thirteen year old Jewish boy is considered by the Jewish community to be an adult. This means
that he is granted full nights of participation in all Jewish rites and ceremonies. This major change of
states is celebration of ceremony popularly known by the name of the new states achieved by the young
man- Bar Mitzvah which means the son of commandment.
This ceremony takes place in the synagogue in the presence of a Minyan, the quorum necessary
for public worship. The Bar Mitzvah youth is for the first time called to read a patron of the Torah and
recite the blessings before and after the reading. He is now accepted as a regular member of the
community and is eligible to be counted in the Minyan.
4. Bat Mitzvah
It means daughter of the commandment is the status of a young woman who reaches
puberty. There is a ceremony also for this matter that exactly parallels the Bar Mitzvah.
5. Confirmation
It is an alternative to Bar and Bat Mitzvah. It is a confirmation ceremony that is uniform for boys
and girls aged fifteen or sixteen. The idea of deferring the ceremony to a more mature age was to
increase religious meaning.
6. Marriage
The wedding takes place under a Huppah or canopy. This is thought to be representative of the
tent to which the bride was led by her husband in biblical times. Genesis 24:67
The wedding begins with the recitation of two blessings of betrothal. A cup of wine is then
shared by the bride and groom. The Talmud dictates that the groom must give some object of value to
the bride in the presence of two witnesses.
Next, the Ketubah or marriage contract is read aloud. This document spells out the
responsibilities of the bride and groom for each other. It is signed by two witnesses, thus making it a
legal document.
Seven blessing are then chanted over a second cup of wine, after which is drunk by both bride
and groom. This blessings sum up the ceremony and touch on the aspirations of Jewish people.
7. Divorce
The fact that marriage is a human institution introduces the possibility of error. This possibility
was foreseen in the Bible, which provides for a divorced ending the contract of marriage- Duet. 24:1-5,
Isaiah 50:1 and Jeremiah 3:8. Divorce could legitimately take place on the ground of adultery or other
The divorce proceedings take place before a Bet Din (Jewish Count of Law) consisting of three
men who are knowledgeable in the Jewish laws of divorce. Also present are two witnesses and a scribe
who writes the bill of divorce by hand according to precise rules and regulations. The bill of divorce,
called in rabbinic terminology a Get, is then given by the husband to his wife. A woman may not remarry
for three months after receiving a Get. Once divorce, her first husband neither may nor remarry her, if in
the meantime, she has been married to another and that marriage has been terminated either through
death or divorce.
Jews are by their own tradition obligated to observe the civil law. This obligation is stated in the
Talmud. The law of the state is the law. Therefore, a Get is not granted until a civil divorced has
obtained and remarriage is not possible unless the divorced person has obtained a Get together with a
civil divorce.
8. Death and Burial
There were clear mourning rites which lasted seven days. The body had to be buried within 24
hrs, either in a cave, or for the rich, a specially prepared tomb. There was no clear understanding of life
beyond death in the O.T. it was believed that the dead went to a place of shadows called sheol. By the
New Testament period Pharisees believed in a physical resurrection, and certainly many on the ordinary
people did as well.
Judaism views the body as the work of God; it is respected in death as well s in life. The
fundamental commandments pertain to washing and cleaning the body, honoring the body and
accompanying the body to the grave.
Burial takes place as soon as possible, usually the day of death or the next day. This serve to
1. It emphasizes the respect paid to the body, since leaving the dead unburied is considered to be a
mark of great humiliation.
2. It is most considerate of the feelings of the mourners, since to the Jew, the most difficult period for
mourners is the period between death and burial. Coffins used are simple and made entirely of wood.

Activity 1
a. Brainstorming

b. Reflection
Activity 2
Graded recitation


Name: __________ Course: __________

Course/Year/Section: __________ Date: __________
1. Direction: Answer the question briefly but completely.

2. Direction: