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Jewish Traditions

Yarmulkes, or skullcaps.

Jewish Traditions

This quiz, Jewish Traditions, looks at Judaism’s rituals and observances. These will be viewed by the casual non-Jewish observer as either quaint, interesting, mystifying or simply unfathomable. But that is the nature of investigating a religion other than your own.

1.
There are special prayers that are recited ....
every new moon
on the Friday before a major Jewish festival
when a Jewish person wins something such as a talent show
when the first grass of Spring is mown at home
The sages of the Talmud (the Holy Book of Jewish Learning) write that the renewal of the moon each month reminds us of the magnificent wonders of God’s creation. There is particular significance, as all Jewish festivals are lunar-based
2.
According to the “Talmud”, the Book of Jewish teaching, based on the “Torah”, the Book of Jewish Law, Jewish people are told there are ....
10 Commandments
13 Commandments and a further 13 ‘sub’ Commandments
613 Commandments
actually, there are no Commandments, just “writings”
According to Jewish scholars, the Talmud tells Jewish people that there are 613 commandments in the Torah of which 248 are positive Commandments (do's) and 365 negative Commandments (do not's). It should be noted that many of these commandments (such as all the commandments associated with ancient sacrifices) are no longer practicable
3.
In a traditional synagogue wedding, when a Jewish woman gets married, in an ante room prior to the main ceremony, the bridegroom covers ....
the bride’s ankles
the bride’s face
the bride’s arms
the bride’s ears
The signing of the Jewish marriage contract is done prior to the main wedding ceremony where the bridegroom places the wedding veil over the bride's face in a minor ceremony known as Bedecken (“veiling”). This symbolises the groom's intent to clothe and protect his wife. It dates back to Biblical times, when Rebekah covered her face before she married Isaac, the son of Abraham
4.
Which of these is Talmudic (relating to the Book of Jewish Law) advice on how to discipline children?
Let the child do what he or she wants, as children will inevitably learn from their own mistakes themselves
Operate the family as a democracy, and allow the child's voice and opinion to be heard before overruling and correcting it
Push away with the weaker hand and reach out with the stronger hand so that reconciliation is always possible
Punish quickly and harshly at the first offence, so that children can learn in the first instance what is improper behavior
The Jewish religion believes that while discipline is crucial for raising healthy children, striking a child need and should never happen. Oral disciplining combined with love is the best way forward. It is also felt that by training a child in the way they should behave in the first instance, means that when they are old, neither will they have departed from this nor failed to show their own children how to correctly discipline their own children
5.
According to the Talmud (the “Book of the Law”), which of the following, out of respect for their parents, is something Jewish children must not do?
Contradict their parents' words
Sit in their parents' places in the house, or at the dinner table
Leave their parents to feed and clothe themselves if they are unable to do so
All of the above
The traditional biblical commandments "Honour your father and your mother" (Exodus 20:12) and "You shall fear your mother and your father" (Leviticus 19:3) define "honour" as feeding and clothing parents while "fear" is defined as not contradicting a parent or sitting or standing in their designated place. Dignity is extremely significant and a vital part of the overall respect for parents, therefore everything should be done to ensure parents are able to maintain their dignity at all times
6.
What did the sages of the Talmudic era (the time when the “Book of Jewish Law” became “Jewish Law”) believe about the human body?
That it is relatively unimportant
That it is a vessel for the soul
That it is a vessel for the human mind
That it is more holy than God
Judaism’s view is that the human body is guided by the soul. During sleep it is said that the soul momentarily departs the body and is spiritually refreshed. Upon death it leaves the body, to be reunited only upon resurrection, one of the main reasons that the deceased should be buried whole and not cremated. However, whether the soul is capable of living an independent, fully conscious existence away from the body following death, is extremely unclear from the teachings of the Rabbis
7.
It is customary for Jews to thank God for food ....
before the meal
during the meal
after the meal
both before and after the meal
While there are separate blessings for fruit, vegetables, non-bread grain products, and meat, fish, and dairy products, a meal is not considered to be a meal in the formal sense unless bread is eaten during the meal. The meal usually starts with a blessing over the bread. Once the meal has concluded, there is a series of four benedictions that are said (or only a single benediction if bread was not eaten with the meal). As with most religions in this modern age, it is only the very religious that will recite these blessings and prayers, although most Jewish families will make the blessing over bread at the commencement of the traditional Friday night meal prior to the Sabbath
8.
A traditional Jewish wedding should take place on ....
the Sabbath
during the celebratory period of the Jewish New Year
on the same day as a Jewish Festival
on any day of the week apart from the Sabbath or major Jewish Festival
The wedding can be held on any day of the week apart from during the Sabbath (from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday) day, or on any of the major Jewish festivals such as the Day of Atonement or Jewish New Year (when Jews are required to refrain from work). In the UK, Sunday tends to be the most popular day of the week for Jewish weddings, although ultra-Orthodox weddings now often take place during the week on a day from Monday to Thursday
9.
The wearing of the skullcap or “Yarmulke” by Jewish men is ....
a custom
so that Jewish men can appear humble in the presence of God
by order of the Rabbi
to make all men equal in the sight of God as ageing men lose their hair
Jewish men take it for granted that the head should indeed be covered when they find themselves in a holy place (the synagogue or cemetery), or engaged in a sacred occupation, such as the study of the Torah, reciting of prayers and the partaking of food. It is to signify that they are indeed humble in the presence of God, although secular Jewish men tend to wear one solely on religious-orientated occasions. It is worn by all Jewish males when reciting prayers or in the synagogue, irrespective of their degree of religiousness
10.
Jewish women traditionally cover their hair to show that they are ....
dating
engaged
married
pregnant
In biblical Judaism, the rule was that married women should cover their hair in order to be seen as modest and unattractive and thus ward off potentially embarrassing advances from potential single suitors. From a Jewish perspective, modesty hadn’t really anything to do with being unattractive, but more as a means of creating privacy for a married woman. By covering her hair, the married woman is simply saying “I am not available”

 

Author:  Ed Moss

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