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Flashcards in Optional: Judaism Content Deck (156)
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What do Jews believe about the nature of God?

•Jews believe that God is one, creator, law-giver and judge.

•Jews believe in 1 God who cannot be split.

•God created the world.

•God as law-giver (Torah - The Ten Commandments)

•God is judge (Torah – Ten Commandments) --> God judges how people follow his commandments. 


What is Shekinah?

•The place where Gods presence rests and can be felt.

•Jews believe that God is everywhere – but there are particular times and places where his presence is more strongly felt.

•Some Jews believe Shekinah never left the temple and that is why Israel has a special spirituality.



What is the Shema?

The Jewish prayer/ Creed that they say to show they believe in 1 God. 


What do Jews believe about the Messiah?

•Many Jews pray for the Messianic age which they believe will be one of peace on earth, bring back the Jews to Israel and restore the Temple in Jerusalem.

•Messiah means anointed. Belief in the Messiah is central to Judaism. The traditional view is that he will be a great political leader who will bring about the end of the world.


What do Reform Jews believe about the Messiah?


It is important to focus on the good actions of humans that bring about an age of peace.



What is the Covenant with Abraham?

1.God called Abraham and his family to a new land called Canaan. (Israel) - It is often referred to as the promised land because of God's promise to give the land to the descendants of Abraham. 

2.God promised Abraham he would make a great nation from him.

3.God promised to bless Abraham and his family. As part of the covenant God gave Abraham the rite of circumcision (usually occurs on the 8th day to reflect their relationship with God.)


What is the covenant with Moses?

1.Moses was chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. God promised to be with him and help him.

2.Moses is believed to be the only person who has seen God face to face.

3.Moses was given the Torah by God on Mount Sinai. Orthodox Jews believe he was also given the oral Torah.

4.Moses established a covenant with God. As Gods chosen people the Israelites would keep the Commandments. 


Why are the Ten Commandments important?

•They were given by God to Moses

•They should be followed by all Jews

•They are the duties required for humans for their creator God

•They are the duties required for relationships between humans

•They form the beliefs and practices of Judaism.


What is Pikuach Nefesh and why is it important?

•Saving of a life - This can include breaking a mitzvot.

•God created mankind in his own image Therefore life is sacred. To save life takes priority over the mitzvot.

•Many Jews will think about Pikuach Nefesh when making decisions about life and death issues. 

•They should be able to prove that a life will actually be saved.

•They think about 'before I formed you in the womb, I knew you' when thinking about when life begins. 


What are the Mitzvot?

613 Mitzvot
In the Torah there are 613 duties.
- Orthodox Jews try to keep them all.
- Reform Jews say that some are not relevant in the 21st century


How does free will connect with the mitzvot?

  • Jews keep the mitzvot in different ways.
  • They believe God gave them free will to choose whether to follow the mitzvot or not.
  • Some of the mitzvot are no longer relevant as they relate to the temple which was destroyed. 


What do Jews believe about free will?

  • The Torah teaches God has given Jews the freedom to choose what is right and wrong.
  • Jews believe they are born with the inclination to do either good or bad. Studying the Torah can help humans choose to do good.


What do Jews believe about the afterlife?

•Jews focus on their lives on earth, not the afterlife as the ways of God are unknown.

•The afterlife is called 'olam ha-ba' --> the world to come.

•It is important to live life in preparation for the world to come.

•The Mishnah states ' this world is alike a lobby before the olam ha ba.'

•Olam ha-ba  is known as the 'immortality of the soul'.

•Some Jews believe the resurrection of the dead will come during the Messianic Age. - Some argue after.

•Some argue only the righteous will be resurrected; others that everyone will be resurrected on the day of Judgement. 


What are the differing views on the afterlife?

•Many don’t believe in resurrection but that the soul lives on. 


•Many believe in some form of resurrection – physically or spiritually.


What is the importance of the Shabbat service?

•Usually synagogue services are held on shabbat eve, and late shabbat afternoon. (Friday Eve and Saturday Afternoon)

•The Shabbat morning service includes important prayers (e.g. Shema and the Amidah) - the rabbis deliver a weekly sermon.

•After the service a Kiddush is held.

•In the reform synagogue less `Hebrew is used and instruments may be played. 

They are important because they bring the community together. They are able to listen to the rabbi's sermon which is based on the readings of the week. They are able to take part in communal prayers.


Why is prayer important during the service?

•Through prayer Jews believe they can communicate with God.

•Prayers can be said individually or collectively (like at Shabbat)

•Prayer is a part of daily life. Observant Jews will pray before performing mitzvot, going to bed at night and seeing unusual things such as rainbows. 

•There are 3 types of prayer: praising God, requests and thanksgiving.

•Some Jews believe it's important to understand the prayer and so will recite them in English; other Jews believe it's important to use Hebrew as it connects Jews worldwide and is a holy language. 


Why is the Amidah prayer important in the synagogue?

•A prayer at the core of every Jewish service.

•Often called 'the prayer'

•Amidah means 'standing' and people stand throughout the prayer. It has 18 blessings which praise God, request things of God and thank God.

•It is recited silently then repeated by the rabbi or cantor.

•The Amidah signifies being in God's presence. 

•It is said standing to show this and at the end three steps are taken backwards, bowing to both sides, and three steps taken forwards to formally show retreating from God's symbolic presence.

•It contains three types of prayer to communicate with God. 


How do Jewish people worship in the home?

•Preparing and celebrating for festivals

•Recitation of Prayers.

•Jewish values.

•Keeping Kosher.

•Display of Mezuzah.


What ways do Jews prepare for Shabbat?

•Each family celebrates Shabbat in their own way. 

•Many Orthodox Jews will not work during Shabbat.

•This means preparation for the meals must be done before.

•Special foods need to have been bought and the Shabbat table laid. 

•Most important all the family need to be home before the candles are lit to bring the presence of Shabbat in the home. 


What happens during Shabbat?

•Orthodox Jews will not work unless it involves saving a life. 

•Driving, carrying and cooking is not allowed.

•The woman of the family will light two candles to bring the presence of Shabbat into the home. 

•There will be a blessing over the challah (loaves) and a Kiddush prayer recited over the cup of wine.

•On the Saturday families will go to the synagogue.

•At sunset on Saturday a havdallah candle is lit to symbolise the distinction between shabbat and the rest of the week. 

•A glass of wine is passed around and a spice box is sniffed to symbolise the hope of a sweet week. 


Why is Shabbat important?

•Keeping Shabbat obeys the Mitzvot to 'remember and keep the Sabbath day holy'.  

•It is remembered as a celebration of God's creation.  

•It is kept through worship in the home and synagogue. 

•It is often seen as a gift from God when weekday worries can be forgotten, and they can spend time with family.  



What is the tefflin?

•Two leather boxes each containing the Shema prayer. It is bound to the head with straps and to the upper arm with straps. 

•Usually worn by orthodox males after their bar mitzvah on weekday mornings during prayer. Some women in reform Judaism wear the tefillin.  

•It obeys the Mitzvot in the Torah. They are a reminder that the wearer must serve God through developing good thoughts through acts of compassion. 




What is the Tallith?

•Prayer shawl with fringes representing the 613 mitzvot. 

•Worn during prayers and worship by most orthodox Jews and some reform Jews.

•Wearing it reminds them of the mitzvot.


What is the Kippah?

•A head covering which can be different designs and colours.

•Can be worn from childhood. Some Jews wear it during prayer and when in synagogue. Others wear it always when awake. 

•Some Reform Jewish Women also wear it.

•The exact meaning is unknown although it is often seen as a sign of respect for God as the highest part of the head is covered.

•Also seen as part of the Jewish identity. 


What is the Bimah in a synagogue?

•Raised platform where the Torah scrolls are read.

•It is a central focus for the reading of the Torah scrolls and the sermons preached.

•Shows that the Torah should be central to life. 


What is the difference in the bimah between orthodox and reform?


The bimah is at the front combined with the ark


Usually in the middle so the rabbi faces the congregation


What is the ark in the synagogue?

•AKA the aron hakodesh

•The Torah scrolls are kept here. During some prayers the doors and curtain of the ark may be opened or closed.

•The most important place in the synagogue.

•It is placed in the wall facing Jerusalem.


What are the Torah scrolls and their importance in the synagogue?

•Scrolls that contain the Torah. Made from animal skins and handwritten.

•The scroll is attached to two staves called the tree of life. Wach scroll is wrapped when not used and decorated with silver. The scrolls are carried to the bimah to be read. 

•A portion of each scroll is used in the Shabbat service. 

•It is raised to the congregation to show its importance. 

•It is seen as an honour to be called up to read the Torah. 


What is the ner tamid in the synagogue?

•Called the eternal lamp. 

•Placed above the ark.

•Burns always and should never be put out.

•A symbol of God's presence. In Exodus Jews were told to cause a lamp to burn continually. 

•It is the light for the Torah which it is placed over.

•A symbol of the golden menorah which burned constantly in the temple.


What is the difference between the seating in reform and orthodox?


•everyone sits together.


•Separate seating for men and women. 

•Women sit in the gallery often. Above the men.