Judaism

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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 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 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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  • 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 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 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 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 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 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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  • 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 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 Some Historical Figures and Events Involving Judaism and Its Adherents?

    A: Rabbi Hillel and Baal Shem Tov are considered significant historical figures in Jewish history due to the remarkable contributions they made to the religion and its followers during some of its dark periods. The Inquisition is an example of a dark period in Jewish history.
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  • Q: What Is a Jewish Minyan Service?

    A: A Jewish Minyan service refers to the congregation of a minimum of 10 adult Jews for a religious session. According to Jewish traditions, the 10 adults should be male and must have attained the age of 13 years. Females who have attained adulthood are not counted or considered to make up the Minyan service.
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  • Q: What Is "The Book of Enoch"?

    A: "The Book of Enoch" is a Jewish religious work purportedly written by Enoch, the grandson of Noah. A few small Christian and Jewish groups accept "The Book of Enoch" as a canonical part of scripture, but most do not.
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  • What Are the Months on the Jewish Calendar in Order?

    Q: What Are the Months on the Jewish Calendar in Order?

    A: The months of the Jewish or Hebrew calendar begin with Nissan, Iyar, Sivan, Tammuz, Av and Elul. The calendar continues with Tishri, Cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, Adar (called Adar I in leap years only) and Adar II, which is called Adar Beit during leap years.
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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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  • Q: What Are the Basics of the Torah?

    A: The basic laws of the Torah are broken into 10 chapters of six positive and four negative commandments. Some of the six positive commandments include recognizing God, not questioning his existence and unifying God. Some of the four negative commandments are to not desecrate God's name or destroy things that have God's name written on them.
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  • Q: Where Did Judaism Begin?

    A: The geographical origins of the Jewish religion can be traced back to the Fertile Crescent, an area of land on the east coast of the Mediterranean Sea that is situated between the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This early period is one of the only times in history that a unified Jewish community lived in a single location.
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  • Q: What Is a Jewish Place of Worship Called?

    A: People of the Jewish religion practice in synagogues as their official place of worship. Synagogue is a Greek word that means "assembly."
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  • Q: Who Is the Leader of Judaism?

    A: As a whole, Judaism does not have a single leader, but instead, each congregation is led by a rabbi and each branch of Judaism has a leadership council. Some countries have chief rabbis that oversee other rabbis.
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  • Are Jewish People Buried Standing Up?

    Q: Are Jewish People Buried Standing Up?

    A: The myth that Jewish people are buried standing up is untrue, although there are a number of traditions specific to Jewish funerals. The most important of these is that burial should occur within 24 hours of death.
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  • Q: What Is a General Description of the Hebrew Calendar System?

    A: The Hebrew calendar is a lunar-based system, although the solar cycle does have an effect on the calendar in certain years. Like the Gregorian calendar, the Hebrew calendar usually consists of 12 months and seven-day weeks.
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