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The Jewish World Today

Learn about the Jewish year in this quiz.

The Jewish World Today

The Jewish World Today looks at the tradition of Judaism.

Judaism hasn't changed much, if at all, over the centuries. This is not because of any reluctance or resistance to change, although like any ancient religion, there are those who wouldn't change their ways irrespective of any other structural or generic change. Judaism is all very much about tradition and the passing down of faith and belief from generation to generation.

1.
How many main ‘branches’ or ‘denominations’ of Judaism are there?
1
2
4
7
The four main movements within Judaism are Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist. Orthodoxy is the modern grouping for the traditional section of Jewry that upholds the Jewish Book of the Law or ‘Torah’ to the letter (although by varying degrees of religiousness, from ultra-Orthodox [typified by those who dress in black] to ‘abstainers’ who were born Orthodox); Reform Judaism (also known as Liberal or Progressive Judaism) subjects religious law and customs more to individual human judgment (they will happily drive to synagogue on the Sabbath day); Conservative Judaism, a twentieth century development as a reaction to Reform Judaism's liberalism; Reconstructionism is the most recent denomination within Judaism and it rejects the contention that the Torah was given to Moses on Mount Sinai during the Exodus
2.
The holiest of Jewish sites in Israel is ....
the Belz Great Synagogue, in Jerusalem, Israel, whose main Sanctuary seats over 10,000
the Western Wall in Jerusalem
the Temple Mount in Jerusalem
the Dead Sea Scrolls, housed in the Shrine of the Book in the Israeli Museum, Jerusalem
The Western Wall (in Hebrew, "Ha-Kotel Ha-Ma'aravi") in Jerusalem, built in Roman style by King Herod in 20 BC, is classed as the holiest of Jewish sites. It is so because it is a remnant of the Herodian retaining wall that once enclosed and supported the Second Temple. It is also called the "Wailing Wall" because for centuries Jews have gathered here to lament and pray for the loss of their temple and the loss of close ones. The Plaza in front of Western Wall Plaza serves as an open-air synagogue. Prayers take place here day and night, and special services, such as Bar Mitzvahs and Weddings are held here as well
3.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are ....
important historical, religious, and linguistic texts
ancient maps of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt
special roll-out, flat reed beds for lying by the side of the Dead Sea for spa treatment
a form of ancient Jewish tattoo art
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a very important collection of some 981 texts that were discovered between 1946 and 1956 at Khirbet Qumran on the West Bank. They were found inside caves about a mile inland from the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, hence their name. The texts are written in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, and Nabataean, mainly on parchment but some are written on papyrus and bronze. They demonstrate that some Jewish traditions and customs are still with us today. They are housed in the Shrine of the Book at the Israeli Museum, Jerusalem and include instructions on how to use the body-healing powers of the Dead Sea safely
4.
Whereas some religions have changed or re-adapted (for example the relaxed laws surrounding the eating of meat on Fridays for those of Roman Catholic faith), after many thousands of years, the Laws of Judaism haven't changed at all. This is because Judaism is....
creed-based
belief-based
faith-based
under Rabbinical instruction that has never wavered over the centuries
Judaism is one of the oldest religions in the world. The sacred text, the Hebrew Bible, teaches several doctrines - such as those about God, the Messiah, human beings, and the universe - making beliefs very important to Jews. Judaism has no official creed, however. It is important to understand that the term "Jewish" can be used very much to describe a race and a culture as opposed to just a religion, so some who identify themselves as Jewish may have little interest in the actual beliefs of Judaism
5.
The Jewish year ....
is exactly the same length as the normal secular year
is 12 months long but with an addition
also puts the clocks forward and backwards once a year
is named similar to the Chinese year and designated with one of the names of the 12 tribes of Israel on a 12-year cycle
The Jewish lunar year does have twelve months, but these are of either 29 or 30 days each, which results in a 354-day year. To ensure the same Jewish festivals fall in the same season every year, an additional month (called 'Adar II') is added seven times in every nineteen years to make up the difference
6.
Who is said to have been the first Jewish person?
Moses
Abraham
Noah
Joseph
The first Jew in the world is said to have been Abraham, father of Isaac and Ishmael, the tenth generation from Noah and born in 2018BC, some 352 years after the Flood. However, there is nothing in the Bible that either confirms or denies this
7.
Many traditions in Judaism have never changed over the centuries and are still present in Jewish life today. One of those, the breaking of a glass underfoot at a Jewish wedding, which is derived from the ancient Book of Jewish Law signifies ....
that a marriage can be fragile and sometimes doesn't last
to warn guests not to be clumsy during the wedding celebrations
to warn those present that although a wedding is a great time of celebration, not everything is joyous
just an ancient custom that has carried over the centuries and which people don't really know why it still happens
The Jewish wedding ceremony ends when the groom steps on and breaks a glass. It is to serve a reminder that while a wedding is wonderful, as the bride and groom travel through life, not everything around them will always be joyous. It is also that Jewish people should remember the tragic destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem
8.
Which country has the fastest growing Jewish community in the world?
England
Germany
Israel
Australia
There are some 108,000 Jewish residents living in Germany, according to the Federal Statistical Office (2006 figures are most recent available), with Berlin’s Jewish community being the largest in the country. The world's core Jewish population, as of the beginning of 2013, was estimated at just 13,854,800 (around only 0.2% of the world population). With a world Muslim population in excess of 1.6 billlion (23.2% of the world’s population) living in the 49 Muslim-majority countries throughout the world, this produces one of the key academic questions regarding the hostility towards the sole country in the world with a Jewish majority, Israel, with its mere 6.1 million Jewish inhabitants
9.
For some strange reason that even top academics (both religious and professorial) can’t explain, the main religious conspiracies the world seems to invent on a regular basis are Jewish ones. One of the more recent and more laughable theories has been ....
Superman (the comic hero) is a Jewish conspiracy
The Simpsons (cartoon series) was created for Jews to lambast other religions
Lady Gaga is a Jewish princess who set out to offend conservative women of other religions
Jewish inmates can break out of prison without using a key
Superman was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster who were high school students living in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1933; the character was sold to Detective Comics, Inc. (later DC Comics) in 1938. According to Lebanon’s Al-Manar (Hezbollah) TV in 2014, Jews seek to rule public opinion in the US through the invention of movie characters such as Superman. However, Lebanon gained its independence from France in 1943, some 10 years after the appearance of Superman. [Lady Gaga, by the way, is a Roman Catholic]
10.
A Jewish month begins with ....
a celebration in the form of a minor Jewish festival
each new moon
a special oration by the Rabbi in the synagogue
absolutely no pomp or ceremony
Because the Jewish calendar is based on the lunar cycle, each Jewish month begins with the new moon. This is called the Rosh Khodesh (Head of the Month). Rosh Khodesh was once a major holiday in biblical times, but was downgraded to a minor holiday after the Babylonian exile and is no longer generally recognised today. However, some extra lines acknowledging the new moon are inserted into some prayers in the synagogue service around the time of the new month

 

Author:  Ed Moss

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