Religions are often misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misused. This is a fact that cannot be denied of any group that is united by religious beliefs. Judaism is not an exception. There are many Jews around the world, but not all of them fully understand Judaism. According to Rich (2006), Judaism is often regarded as a religion, a race, or a culture or ethnicity. In fact, Judaism is a religion though not all Jews can be regarded as members of this religion. However, Judaism is not a race as it does not require blood relation or ancestry to be a Jew as in the case of converts.
Neither is it a culture or ethnicity as some who call themselves Jews think. Judaism is further enriched by convictions and festivals and holidays that cannot be compared to other faiths. Jews have their take on different social issues and stand firm on these beliefs. They also follow a calendar marking certain events that commemorate the highlights of their religion, and to which even non-Jews co-celebrate. Still though, many people do not fully understand what it is to be a real Jew, and what it takes to be an active participant of the Jewish religion.
It is imperative for people to get to know other religions, especially not one’s own. This enables them to understand and accept other people’s beliefs and convictions and avoid any discrimination and judgment that often arises from the differences that every faith has. There are many ways in which one can gain more information and understanding about a religion. There is vast information available online. There are new and age-old books to enlighten and give necessary data. However, a fool-proof way to get authoritative and definitive guidance is to interview a person of that faith.
In this paper, the author tries to explore Judaism through an interview with a Jewish rabbi, and attempts to shed light on the most common questions about this faith. An Interview with a Rabbi Rabbi Roth Anshe-Emeth; 25 Joslen Blvd. Hudson, NY 12434 The busy Joslen Boulevard is home to Anshe-Emeth, the synagogue where Rabbi Roth serves. Rabbi Roth exuded warmth and kindness; yet, he is ready to authoritatively share information about his religion. The rabbi starts with what could be most basic among any religious fact: what Judaism is.
According to Rabbi Roth, Judaism is a religion of the Jewish people and it is a rich one as it practices a unique religious culture. Though he confirms that Judaism is not a culture nor a race as some would have it, he states that the culture practiced by the Jewish people is engaging. Jewish Holidays To begin with, the Jews follow the Jewish calendar which starts each day in the evening. This, the rabbi explains, is due to the fact that when God was creating the world he started creation in the evening.
The Jews, like other religions also observe holy days to commemorate special points in their faith. The most popular, the rabbi says, would be the Hanukkah or the Jewish Festival of Lights which even members of other religions are familiar about, and the Passover which celebrates the day when Moses led out the Israelites out of Egypt. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is also celebrated to glorify the day when God created the world. Starting this time, Jews observe the Days of Awe for 10 days.
The Days of Awe ends with the Day of Atonement or the Yom Kippur. Rabbi Roth explains that of all Holy Days, the Yom Kippur is the most sacred. Jews also remember the days of their tragedies. They remember the Holocaust and call this holy day the Yom Hashoah. Tisha Bav is another remembrance to tragic events that Jews have encountered. For religious Jews, every week is marked with the day of Sabbath, a holy day where certain customs and laws must be observed. Among these customs is the forbiddance to work and to allot time to praise and pray to God.