Thursday, April 2, 2009


In Jewish custom, dead bodies are washed and wrapped in white linen. The body is placed in a plain wooden box and buried. During the burial, prayers are said and the close family or nearest relatives take turns shoveling earth into the grave.

In the setting of the Reform Jews, the body can be cremated . Among the Orthodox Jewish families, close relatives make a small Rip in their clothes to show their sadness. When the Jews have a death, they mourn for seven days. The home of the dead is visited by those who come to express sympathy.
The bereaved may sit on low stools and wear slippers. All mirrors in the home are covered. Friends of the family bring food for them. The women do not wear makeup and the men do not shave.

Every year on the anniversary of the death of a parent, the children light a candle that burns 24 hours. They say special thanks and praise God and ask him for peace

How do Jewish families prepare for the Passover?
In preparation for Passover Jewish families spring clean their houses. Nothing with yeast can be found in Jewish homes during this time.
They do this because they want to have a fresh start.

How long does the Passover last?
The Passover last for 8 days.

What does the Passover celebrates?
The Passover celebrates the Exodus, when the Jews were delivered by God through Moses out of Egypt.

How is the Passover celebrated?
Special services are held at the synagogue but the greater part of the service is held at home. The festival starts with a very special meal. The family sits around the table to eat the Passover meal. The table is set with a wine glass for each person and an extra one for Elijah. (They think that Elijah is coming back to announce the Messiah. Each person is given a book called

Haggadah. In this book is contained the Passover story. The story is read during the meal. A special plate is placed on the table with symbolic foods. The food is used to tell the story of the Exodus. The celebration is a mixture of sadness and joy. The Jews remember how they were once slaves. But they are also happy for their freedom.

What is on the symbolic plate?
A roasted lamb shank – representing the Passover lamb.
Bitter herbs – reminding the Jews of the bitter experience of slavery.

Three unleavened wafers called matzoth-
reminding them of the time the Israelites ate bread without yeast when they left Egypt.

A roasted egg- representing new life and
Sprigs of parsley dipped in salt water- reminding them of the tears of slavery and the salt sea.
A mixture of apple, nuts wine and cinnamon called Haroset- representing mortar and hard


What is Shavuot all about?
Shavuot is a summer festival where Jews decorate their synagogues with lots of flowers and they are thankful for sunshine, blue sky and
much more. It also remembers a time when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. The day of the feast, the first part of the Torah is read. Everyone stands for the reading of the commandments given by God to Moses.

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