tradition and change. It has also maintained a continuity
of ideology, ritual, and practice.
LITURGY AND HOLY DAYS
The Jewish religion makes much use of rituals, or
ceremonies, that dramatize and make vivid a great ideal.
Notice how each of the holy days described in the
following paragraphs carries a moral lesson.
Passover is celebrated every spring for a period of
eight days. Passover is the Jewish symbol of liberty,
recalling the march to freedom of the ancient Israelites
from Egyptian slavery.
Celebrated in June, Shevuoth
giving of the Ten Commandments.
Observed in September or October, Rosh Hashanah
is the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah is the time for
examining ones deeds of the past 12 months and
resolving to live a better life. The Shofar, or rams horn,
is blown to mark the beginning of Rosh Hashanah.
Yom Kippur is the Jewish day of atonement. It is a
solemn period for asking Gods forgiveness.
Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights, is celebrated in
December. For eight days, candles are lit as a reminder
of the Jews battle for religious freedom in ancient
The Jewish Sabbath is observed from Friday at
sundown until Saturday at sundown. The Sabbath
involves many rituals, such as the lighting of candles
and the drinking of wine. The wine ceremony is called
the Kiddish. Other rituals of the Sabbath, such as the
songs, length of the service, language (use of Hebrew or
English), and other practices, may vary.
The basic equipment required for a Jewish worship
service is shown in figure 1-13. The basic order of
worship for a Jewish service is shown in figure 1-14.
Following the Jewish service of worship is the Oneg
Shabbat, a time of fellowship, pleasant conversation,
and light refreshment.
A rabbi, or teacher, is the appointed spiritual leader
who guides and represents the Jewish faith group. The
rabbi conducts the worship services. The rabbi is often
assisted by a cantor, who is a synagogue official who
sings or chants liturgical music and leads the
congregation in prayer. There are also elected lay
readers, both in the congregation and the community.
Any approved lay person knowledgeable in worship can
conduct a service in the absence of a Jewish chaplain or
There are fixed times for public worship. A minyan
of 10 males is needed for a public worship service.
When the minyan is not available, individuals must
The public place of worship for Jews is the
synagogue. It is usually oriented to the east so that
worshipers can face Jerusalem when they pray. The
synagogue contains the Ark which houses the Torah.
Judaism requires an observance of certain dietary
laws or restrictions called Kosher. In the strictest sense,
Jews are forbidden to eat pork and its derivatives.
Animals that do not have split hooves and chew their
cud are forbidden sources of food. Seafood without fins
and scales and certain fowl are also forbidden. There
must be a complete separation of milk and meat,
including separate utensils to be used in the preparation
of milk and meat.
The degree of adherence to Jewish dietary traditions
varies widely among Jewish personnel. You can rely
upon Jewish chaplains and Jewish lay readers to help
you in matters concerning dietary laws. Frequently, a
food service officer or a Mess Management Specialist
can make available foods that are permitted, even to a
strict observer of Kosher. These foods include fruit,
juice, dry cereal, eggs in the shell, canned salmon, tuna
fish, sardines, and raw vegetables. At some
installations, you can obtain permission for Jewish
service personnel to have kosher food heated separately