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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • Q: Who are the major prophets of Judaism?

    A: There are approximately 55 prophets in the Jewish religion. There is some debate about who should be included on the list and the roles some of them played. There are three divisions of prophets, which are former prophets, major prophets and minor prophets.
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  • Q: What are some interesting facts about the Prophet Malachi?

    A: The name Malachi refers to a messenger; the Book of Malachi is titled "ykalm" in Hebrew, which means "Messenger of Yahweh" or "My Messenger." Malachi likely lived between 568 and 433 B.C. Nothing is known about Malachi's life except for his prophecies, which appear in the Book of Malachi. The Book of Malachi reminds people that Yahweh tries to help them, and that he honors their faithfulness and holds them accountable for their wrongdoings.
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  • Q: Why do Jewish women shave their heads?

    A: Not all Jewish women shave their heads, but the Hasidic Jewish women shave their heads once they are married because hair is considered to be equivalent to nudity, and it is a sin not to shave for those women in the Hasidic Jewish tradition. Hasidism means "pious ones" in the Hebrew religion, and Hasidic Jews are a specific movement that is a part of the Orthodox Judaic religion.
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  • How do you find a Jewish calendar?

    Q: How do you find a Jewish calendar?

    A: Various websites provide Jewish calendars, including Chabad.org and Hebcal. To find the calendar on Chabad.org, hover over Jewish Practice and click Jewish Calendar. Hebcal lists Jewish calendar options, including holiday dates and a date converter, on its homepage.
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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: How is the Book of Enoch related to the Book of Giants?

    A: Many scholars consider the Book of Enoch to be the source that the Book of Giants was based on. An alternative view is held by adherents of the Manichaean faith, who believe that the Book of Enoch and the Book of Giants are both divine revelations. A very small number of people of other religions also hold this view. There is some overlap between the contents of the two books.
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  • Who was the founder of Judaism?

    Q: Who was the founder of Judaism?

    A: Judaism does not have a specific founder, but rather it has major prophets that are considered the fathers of Judaism. Some of these prophets are Moses, Abraham and Noah.
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  • Q: What is a Jewish minyan?

    A: A minyan is a group of at least 10 Jewish men aged 13 and over that are needed for public worship. Sometimes minyan is used to describe any act of communal worship.
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  • Q: What is the name of the Jewish place of worship?

    A: Depending on the denomination of Judaism, the terms for a modern Jewish place of worship are synagogue, shul and temple. These words' usage bears the closest resemblance to the Christian "church" or Islamic "mosque." The most common term used outside of Jewish circles is synagogue.
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  • Q: What is the Year of Jubilee?

    A: The Year of Jubilee was a time of rest and renewal of the land for the Jewish people in biblical times. Occurring every 50 years, families were required to return to their homeland, forgive debts and leave the land fallow.
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  • Q: Who wrote Leviticus?

    A: The traditional view in Judaism and Christianity is that Moses wrote the Book of Leviticus along with the other four books that comprise the Torah and Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The only exception is the final eight verses of Deuteronomy, which concern Moses' death and burial.
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