Judaism

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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • Q: What are the sacred writings of Judaism?

    A: The sacred writings of Judaism are found in the Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known as the "Tanakh." The Jews believe the writings were first given to Moses by God roughly 3,000 years ago and commonly refer to them as the "Five Books of Moses."
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  • Q: Where can one find Yom Kippur prayers translated into English?

    A: Chabad.org and the Internet Archive offer versions of Yom Kippur prayers translated into English. NLE Resources also offers PDF and Word document downloads of prayer companions, which explain the purpose, meaning and history behind Yom Kippur prayers with limited translation.
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  • Q: What are the followers of Judaism called?

    A: Followers of Judaism are known as the "Jewish" or "Jews." The religion is based on belief in the God of Abraham, who Jews believe made an agreement with the patriarch that his descendants would dwell in the promised land of Canaan.
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  • Q: Where can you find a list of Jewish terminology?

    A: People can find lists of Jewish terminology at Jewfaq.org and DailyWritingTips.com. Jewfaq.org includes a list that defines Hebrew, Yiddish and other Jewish terms. The website also offers the pronunciation for most terms, along with a general pronunciation guide. DailyWritingTips.com offers the resource "The Yiddish Handbook: 40 Words You Should Know."
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  • Q: Where do Jewish people pray?

    A: Jewish people pray and worship at a synagogue, which may also be referred to as a shul or a temple. In Israel, Jews also pray at the Wailing Wall, even leaving prayer messages tucked into cracks.
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  • Q: How much money do you give for a Bat Mitzvah?

    A: The amount of money to give for a bat mitzvah is a personal decision with no strict guidelines nor any single, authoritative answer. Based on Jewish tradition, some prefer to give multiples of $18 because the Hebrew numerals for 18 mean life, but this is neither mandatory nor universal.
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  • Q: What is a kiddush luncheon?

    A: A kiddush luncheon is served after a bar or bat mitzvah. It is a time where people can come together after the celebration to enjoy food and companionship.
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  • Why do people place rocks on headstones?

    Q: Why do people place rocks on headstones?

    A: Placing a small stone on top of a headstone is a Jewish custom demonstrating respect for the deceased and signaling that there has been a visitor to the grave. Jews call these stones of remembrance.
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  • Q: What are some important aspects of the life of the Prophet Malachi?

    A: Little is known about the prophet Malachi from the Bible, including whether his name was his real name or an assumed name meaning "messenger of YWHW." He wrote the Book of Malachi from the Bible and part of the Jewish Tanakh in the last book of Neviim.
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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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  • What are some Hanukkah blessings?

    Q: What are some Hanukkah blessings?

    A: The blessing of God for his commandment to kindle the lights of Hanukkah, the remembrance of the miracles performed for the ancestors, and the thanksgiving to God for his sustenance are the three Hanukkah blessings. Commemorators recite the first two blessings every night, but they recite the third blessing only on the first night of Hanukkah.
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