Judaism

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A First-Timers’ Guide to Attending a Jewish Funeral

Jewish funerals rarely offer surprises to anyone who has been to a Christian funeral. The Jewish rites are similar, though the words and prayers are often different. [more…]

How to Get a Jewish Divorce

The Bible states that a Jewish divorce is accomplished when a husband gives a document called a get to his wife. The get is a complex legal document written by a rabbi, and it acts as a religious divorce [more…]

How to Plan for Death in Judaism

Jews are encouraged to prepare for death as much as possible. After all, the more you plan for your death and communicate about it in advance, the easier you make things for your family and friends after [more…]

Jewish Burial Traditions

Much of the focus in Jewish tradition regarding death revolves around returning the body to the earth in a consecrated Jewish cemetery as quickly and naturally as possible — again, a respectful appreciation [more…]

How to Observe the First Week of Mourning

The first week after a Jewish funeral is an important time for reflection and healing, and it’s traditional for Jews to “sit shiva” during this time.

Shiva [more…]

What Happens after Death in Judaism

What happens after you die according to Judaism? One of the biggest surprises in Judaism is that the Bible, the foundation of the faith that led to both Christianity and Islam, has nothing to say about [more…]

How to Purify the Spirit in Judaism with the Mikvah

Water is the transformer and the giver of life, and for millennia people have used water to purify their bodies and possessions — literally, figuratively, and spiritually. Judaism has a long tradition [more…]

Ornaments of the Jewish Home

Jewish homes are typically similar to other homes in the same neighborhood, inside and out. However, if you keep your eyes open, you may notice a few items that commonly appear in Jewish households. The [more…]

Why Break the Glass at a Jewish Wedding

Probably the most well-known Jewish ritual is the custom of stomping on a glass at the conclusion of a Jewish wedding. In case you’re wondering, it’s not the same cup from which the couple drinks at the [more…]

The Jewish Marriage Contract

Judaism has a long history of ensuring the rights of women. Case in point: the ketubah, or marriage contract between bride and groom. The terms of the ketubah [more…]

Basic Ideals of Reform Judaism

Reform Judaism — probably the largest Jewish group in America — rests on the idea that all Jews have the responsibility to educate themselves and make decisions about their spiritual practice based on [more…]

Basic Ideals of Conservative Judaism

Conservative Jews tend to respect many Jewish laws, like keeping kosher, observing Shabbat and other religious holidays, and performing daily prayers. At the same time, they agree with the Reform movement [more…]

How to Exchange Rings in a Jewish Wedding Ceremony

Much like in Christian weddings, Jews exchange rings during the wedding ceremony. Everywhere Jews lived; they picked up cultural customs and wove them into the fabric of their lives. Nowhere is this more [more…]

Sacred Moments before and after a Jewish Wedding

Jewish custom offers several special moments during a wedding. So many things happen on the day of a wedding that it’s easy to get distracted and end up with only a photograph or video of a ceremony from [more…]

How to Prepare the Body for a Jewish Funeral

When preparing a body for burial, Jewish tradition holds that the body must be carefully washed, dressed in a plain white shroud (it’s the same for both men and women), and blessed with special prayers [more…]

Judaism and Suicide

Judaism sees life as a gift from God — maybe not the gift you were hoping for, but a gift nonetheless. Therefore, Jews are generally opposed to anyone taking life, whether it’s someone else’s or their [more…]

How to Attend a Jewish Funeral and Burial

The Jewish funeral and burial are set up both to honor the dead and begin the mourning process for those still living. Jewish funerals usually take place in a synagogue, a funeral chapel, or at a cemetery [more…]

Getting to Know the Hebrew Alphabet

Getting a grasp on recognizing and pronouncing Hebrew words begins with the alphabet. Get to know the Hebrew alphabet — the names of the letters and how to say them. [more…]

A Brief Time-Line of Jewish History

Understanding Judaism begins by checking out the historical events that have shaped the Jewish culture. Here’s a brief time-line of major events in Jewish history. [more…]

Celebrate with Basic Jewish Blessings

Jewish blessings are reminders to appreciate and celebrate the goodness in the ordinary, and special, moments in life. Here are some basic Jewish blessings to know: [more…]

Jewish Vocabulary: Helpful Words and Phrases

Learning and using these common Jewish words and phrases will help you through situations like meals and toasts, wishing people well, greetings, and casual conversation. [more…]

Judaism For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Understanding Judaism begins with looking at significant historical events that shaped the Jewish culture and learning the Hebrew alphabet, Jewish blessings, and Jewish words and phrases. [more…]

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