James Hewitt, Ph.D
March 12, 2014
Judaism is one of the oldest religions that practiced in the world today. Although the basic rituals and traditions have been modified over the years, the covenants between the people of this faith and their God have remained the same. The history is very long and the journey has been very difficult for this group of people. According to (fisher 2005) the Torah, which is the five books of Moses, “In the Beginning God Creation of the heaven and the earth.” Later in the chapter it continues with “and God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it.” This day stated is the Shabbat. It is observed as the day of res because God rested from creation.”(Fisher 2005). As an example of how the traditions are founded and practiced many events that are continued are the stories from both the oral written Torah. The written Torah is Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, numbers and Deuteronomy. Each book has extensive history of the Jewish people, each book is broken up in different sections of history which are Breshit this book describes the creation of Adam and Eve and Noah and the flood and ends with Jacob’s descendants and family to Egypt. The second book is called the Shmot. The title of this is the names of the Jews enter in Egypt and it continues with stories of the eventual enslavement of the Jewish people and the birth of Moses and his efforts to get the Jewish people out of slavery. The next store tells the events that happened on Mt. Sinai where Moses received the Ten Commandments and the first covenant between God and the Jewish people. This covenant is the responsibility of the people to honor God and his commandments and God will protect his people. (Fisher, 2005).The third book talks about God’s instruction to Moses and about the laws and the priest, the sacrifices and the festivals. The main message that God wanted Moses to tell the people was to love your neighbor as yourself and obey God (Becher & Newman 1996). The fourth book is the is Bamidbar and it talks about the 40 years in the wilderness and establishment of the 12 tribes of Israel and Devarim is the final book it was written according to Moses it talks about his message before his death. He writes the Torah in thirteen copies, giving each tribe a copy and placing one in the Holy Ark and this completes the written Torah (Becher & Newman 1996).
Judaism has many different religious beliefs that are still demonstrated today they are Birth and the First Month of life, Bar/Bat mitzvah and Life, Death and Morning. When children in the Jewish faith are born there is a birth ritual that takes place for a girl(s) she gets her name in a synagogue service and for a boy he gets circumcision (brat milah) eight days after birth. The eighth day period of the corresponds to the transitional or liminal phase. During this time the child is no longer connected to his mother, but he is not yet connected to the sacred community. The connection or incorporation into the community takes place when the child is circumcised. Circumcision is cutting away of the foreskin of the penis. This ritual was initiated when God commanded the first Jewish patriarch, Abraham to circumcise himself and all the male members of his household, and all his descendants as an eternal sign of the Divine Covenant between God and Abraham and the chosen people. A specially trained ritual surgeon, known as a mohel, performs this rite, which includes a ceremony. In Judaism it is the outward physical sign of the eternal covenant between God and his Jewish people. (Nadler)
The Jewish has a rite of passages that is called Bar and Bat Mitzvah it means, literally “son and daughter of the commandment”. Bat mitzvah is Hebrew, while bar mitzvah, and is historically a much earlier ceremony. The word bar is the Aramaic equivalent of the Hebrew ben (son of). While bar and bat mitzvah are often used to refer to the