You probably know that the Jewish culture is all about family values, building strong relationships, and helping other people. The entire culture is so colorful and complex, that you might be wondering – what are some of the most interesting facts about Jewish traditions and customs?
Well, if you are looking for an answer to this question, this article might be able to help you quite a lot. The text below is going to feature a list of the top 10 interesting facts that you should know about the culture and traditions of Judaism. Let’s take a closer look at the list:
1. The Torah
The Torah – which is their sacred book – is also referred to as the “Hebrew Bible”. It does feature the same books as the Christian Bible, however, the order of the text is different. The Torah, that includes the first 5 books of the Tanakh – the sacred text – highlights the laws that all Hebrew people must follow. In some situations, you might also hear people calling it ‘Pentateuch’.
The Hebrew nation remains preserved due to the dedicated study of their Holy Book. It contains important life lessons for people to comprehend, and most of them do choose to follow a wide range of commandments, especially once where they promise to spread the knowledge to the next generation.
2. The Clothes is Often Modest
For Jewish people, one of the most crucial things is to dress modestly, in order to prevent them from being overly exposed. For females, this means that they need to cover their collar bones, their pants or skirts need to be longer & reach their ankles, and their arms need to be covered all the way to the elbows.
If the women are married, they will also need to wear a tichel – a cover for their hair – or a sheitel which is a form of a wig that covers their hair. The hair is considered to be the most intimate part of their body, especially after they get married. On the other hand, men have different attire.
The males need to wear a ‘hat’ which is commonly referred to as the skullcap or kippah, as well as a tallit used for prayers. The tallit is basically long shawls that they can use when praying and you can find a wide range of websites that sell them so make sure to visit here to check the quality of products. They come in various sizes, designs, and colors, which means that you’ll be able to find one that will fit your needs.
3. Traditions Are Carefully Followed And Respected
There is nothing more important for one community than following and respecting the traditions they have. For each particular community, there are a set of traditions that are called minhag. Some of the traditions that they choose to do include placing the mezuzot above your door, dressing up for specific holidays, and celebrating those holidays according to the Torah.
Some of the most celebrated holidays include The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), Chanukah (the celebration of light), and the Rosh Hashanah (the New Year). You have probably heard about Passover as well, which honors the Jewish slaves that were flight from Egypt a long time ago.
Naturally, there are a lot of Hebrew communities in the world, which is one of the reasons why the celebration way can differ from one another. Of course, this does not mean that they do not celebrate the same things, it just means that they have a different way of honoring specific, important days.
4. Chesed is Their Way to Show Kindness And Love
Simply said, chesed is a form of loving and showing kindness to other individuals. Now, you might be wondering – but how do they do that? Well, they often sign up for charity acts, something that they strongly believe is a major part of healing our Earth and improving the environment around us.
According to the Torah, they are obligated to help people in need, especially the poor, orphans, and widows. If you Google it, you’ll see that there is a wide range of organizations set up in order to help different people with their problems. This includes helping the sick and elderly as well.
5. The Temples Are Cherished Beyond Anything Else
During 1.000 B.C., the rightful ruler of the Jewish people was King David. Later on, his son Solomon went on to erect the first holy temple, situated in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, the Babylonians destroyed in and sent millions of Jews into exile. After it was destroyed, a second temple was built, but, when it was also destroyed, they turned to build synagogues, where people come and attend regular services.
6. The Rabbis Are Extremely Respected
Rabbis is a word that can be translated to ‘teacher’ and they are learned Jews that have a job to guide other individuals in their studies, especially Torah, holding frequent services, as well as mitzvah observance. The rabbit will interpret and apply the customs, traditions, and laws of Judaism, as the people before him did.
7. God First Spoke to Women According to The Torah
As mentioned, Judaism is a tradition that is passed from one family member to the next, and the women in the communities are the staples of how those traditions are transmitted and passed down. During the time God communicated the Holy Book, he did not speak to men, instead, he spoke to women first.
8. There Are Several Types of Judaism
There is actually more than one type of Judaism, including Orthodox, Hasidic, Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Humanistic, as well as Messianic Judaism. Of course, each of them varies, however, they do all follow the basic principles and lifestyle. Also, it is worth mentioning that most Jews do not choose a specific category, instead, they simply refer to themselves and their family members as Jewish or Hebrew people.
As you were able to read, there is a wide range of facts about the culture and traditions of Judaism. They all have a strong significance for the people, and generally speaking, it is quite interesting for people to learn more about it, especially since it is quite different from what we might be accustomed to.