Temple -- Race and Judaism -- Judaism Need to Knows -- Fall 10

Temple -- Race and Judaism -- Judaism Need to Knows -- Fall 10

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JUDAISM – NEED TO KNOWs! Also see: www.myjewishlearning.com Some terms and concepts you need to know about the religion of Judaism Contemporary Judaism can be broken down into roughly 3-4 major denominations. Ultra-Orthodox – Black hats, big beards, women wearing wigs or head-coverings. This group has made the least compromises with the modern world. Their lives revolve around strict observance of Jewish laws, customs, and practices. They follow the Halachah very strictly. Most live in enclaves in urban areas. Their distinct dress is part of their attempt to remain separate from non-Jewish society. Hasidim are part of this general designation, but have their own distinct take on strict Jewish observance. (You might think of the difference between strict Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians) If you go to an ultra-Orthodox synagogue, prayers are a cacophony—all in Hebrew, with a ‘sermon’ in Yiddish—women may be entirely invisible, being seated in a gallery or beyond a thick divider. Non-Jews are not exactly welcome or expected there. They are a small, but visible percentage of the entire Jewish world, maybe 10%. The rabbi, always a man, dominates the various ultra-orthodox sub-communities. Modern Orthodox – This group is also committed to a strict, traditional obedience to Jewish laws and customs. However, they are more accommodating to the modern world. They may wear regular clothes, but (men) with yarmulkes (skullcaps), women with modest attire. Senator Joe Lieberman is Modern Orthodox. If you go to a Modern Orthodox synagogue, prayers are all in Hebrew and men and women will be seated separately from each other by a thin curtain or barrier. They are a small but significant percentage of the Jewish world, maybe another 10% Rabbis are very important, but women can be serious teachers in this world as well. Conservative – This denomination, once the majority in America, holds a traditional, but very modern, form of Jewish observance. Conservative Jews may observe the Sabbath, but will drive to Synagogue for Sabbath services (driving a car is not permitted to more strict Jews). Conservative Jews may keep Kosher at home, but eat at non-strictly Kosher restaurants. Conservative Jews are serious about Jewish religious practices, but consider secular sources of wisdom very important as well. If you go to a Conservative service, you will see men and women praying together mostly in Hebrew, even women leading services. Women as well as
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This note was uploaded on 04/11/2011 for the course RELIGION 0802 taught by Professor Elliotratzman during the Spring '10 term at Temple.

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Temple -- Race and Judaism -- Judaism Need to Knows -- Fall 10

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