Judaism

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Although most mosques feature domes, the dome is purely a decorative and traditional architectural structure with no symbolic or other spiritual meaning, according to About.com. Other mosque parts, such as the minaret, have more spiritual significance.

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  • Why do mosques have domes?

    Q: Why do mosques have domes?

    A: Although most mosques feature domes, the dome is purely a decorative and traditional architectural structure with no symbolic or other spiritual meaning, according to About.com. Other mosque parts, such as the minaret, have more spiritual significance.
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  • Whom do the Jewish people worship?

    Q: Whom do the Jewish people worship?

    A: The Jewish people worship YHWH, the sacred name of God as revealed to the prophet Moses in the Torah. It is a combination of the past, present and future tense of the word "howa," which means "to be." The proper pronunciation, as agreed by most scholars, is "Yahweh."
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  • What are characteristics of Judaism?

    Q: What are characteristics of Judaism?

    A: Judaism is a monotheistic faith, which means members believe in only one god. Judaism teaches that all humans were created in the image of God and that God intends to send a person to remedy the ills of the world. The Torah is the reference text of Judaism.
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  • What is the holy book of Judaism?

    Q: What is the holy book of Judaism?

    A: The primary holy book of the Jewish faith is known as the Torah, which comprises the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy; these are also the first five books of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, although "Old Testament" is not a term that followers of the Jewish faith typically apply to the Torah. The Torah can also be known as the Pentateuch, and it is accompanied by holy texts such as the Talmud, an authoritative book of biblical interpretations and Jewish oral traditions. According to Jewish religious tradition, God gave the Torah to Moses on Mount Sinai.
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  • Why is the Western Wall important to the Jews?

    Q: Why is the Western Wall important to the Jews?

    A: The Western Wall is important to modern Jews because it is the only remaining relic of the Second Temple, which was a sacred center of the Jewish religion in ancient times. The building was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
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  • Is swordfish kosher?

    Q: Is swordfish kosher?

    A: A swordfish is not considered kosher food. The Torah says a fish must have fins and scales to be kosher. Only fish that have visible scales that can be easily removed are considered kosher, and swordfish do not meet this requirement.
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  • What are Jewish people not allowed to eat?

    Q: What are Jewish people not allowed to eat?

    A: Some foods that Jews are forbidden to eat include pig products, such as pork, bacon and ham, seafood that has neither fins nor scales, such as lobster, crab or scallops, and anything that flies in swarms, such as insects. The Jewish dietary laws are called kashrut.
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  • What does an anointing oil recipe contain?

    Q: What does an anointing oil recipe contain?

    A: One recipe for anointing oil combines ingredients referenced in Exodus of the Bible and includes quantities of olive oil, sugar, salt, allspice seeds, cloves and cinnamon sticks. An optional mixture combines frankincense, myrrh and pine oils of balsam. A citrus-based spiritually uplifting anointing oil is made from combining the oils of lemon, lime, sweet orange, dark myrrh and frankincense.
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  • What are rituals and practices of Judaism?

    Q: What are rituals and practices of Judaism?

    A: The Jewish religion has many rituals and practices that begin at birth for boys and girls, with baby-naming ceremonies for girls and Brit Milahs for boys. Following initiation into the Jewish religion at birth, Jewish boys and girls then celebrate the passage into adulthood with Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Later, marriages and divorces involve religious rituals to keep with centuries-old traditions.
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  • What does Shabba mean?

    Q: What does Shabba mean?

    A: Shabba is a term that is used as a nickname of sorts for the concept behind Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest in which an observant Jew cannot work. On Shabbat, the day of rest, Jewish people do more than just sleep in late as they have time to set aside to appreciate the wonders of the world and reflect on their path with God.
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  • Q: Where was Judaism founded?

    A: Judaism can be traced back to Bronze Age, where it was first discovered in the Middle East. According to the Bible, Abraham was chosen by God in order to lead a special group of people: the Jews.
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  • Q: When did Judaism begin?

    A: The traditions of Judaism arose around 2000 B.C., but it was not until 1 A.D. that the rabbinic religion was established. The faith was historically centered around Canaan (modern day Israel and Palestine).
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  • Q: Where is there a list of Jewish names?

    A: The Internet offers a wide selection of sites, such as JewishGen, that offer lists of Jewish names. Users may select traditional names or search genealogy lists.
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  • Q: What are the Hebrew months?

    A: The Hebrew, or Jewish, calendar begins with the month of Nissan and ends with the month of Adar. The calendar is based on the lunar cycle and contains either 12 or 13 months, depending on the year.
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  • Q: What is Judaism?

    A: Judaism is a cultural and religious identity associated with Jewish people. The cultural aspects of Judaism includes food, holidays, rituals, customs and other traditions. The religious aspect refers to the tenets of the Jewish religion. A person is considered Jewish by being born into the Jewish lifestyle or by practicing and converting to the Jewish religion, so being Jewish is not exclusive to one nationality or race.
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  • Q: Does Stephen Hawking believe in God?

    A: In an interview with The Guardian in 2011, Stephen Hawking was dismissive of the view that there is a God. He said he believed that the human brain is like a computer, which dies after its components fail. In Hawking's opinion, there is no afterlife to look forward to.
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  • Q: Where can you find Yizkor prayers in English?

    A: Translations of Yizkor prayers, the prayers for the deceased, into English are found at sites including Chabad.org, MyKaddish.com and OU.org. These sites also give information about the reasons for the prayer and how it is recited and honored.
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  • Q: Do Jewish people eat pork?

    A: Observant Jews are forbidden to eat pork. Jewish dietary laws, known as kashrut, dictate what can and cannot be eaten, and the specific ways in which foods must be prepared.
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  • Q: What are the 613 commandments?

    A: The 613 commandments refers to a series of commandments, or mitzvot, that are specified in the Torah, which is the major holy text of Judaism. These include 365 negative commandments, or things that shouldn't be done, and 248 positive commandments, or things that should be done. The 613 mitzvot also include the Ten Commandments that are found in the Book of Exodus in the Bible.
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  • Q: What happens at a Bar Mitzvah service?

    A: The Bar Mitzvah service marks the point where a boy transitions into adulthood. It includes a ceremonial reading of the Torah on the boy’s 13th birthday to signify that he is now viewed as a man. It also includes a party with eating and dancing.
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  • Q: What is a Jewish matchmaker called?

    A: A Jewish matchmaker is called a shadchan if he is a male or a shadchanit if she is female. The tradition of matchmaking is known as shidduch. Professional matchmakers are paid to propose potential matches between singles, a tradition that has continued within the Orthodox Jewish community.
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