such members are careful to carry the tefillins (also called phylacteries) with
A yarmulkah, from the Tartar word skullcap, is worn by males to
cover the head. Covering the head was felt to be a sign of respect and
reverence. Orthodox males wear yarmulkahs both at home and in the
synagogue. Conservative Jews wear yarmulkahs in the synagogue and while
engaged in a religious ritual at home. Reform Jews do not wear yarmulkahs.
Paper yarmulkahs may be secured from the National Jewish Welfare Board
Jewish homes generally have a mezuzah (a small box about 3 inches by
1 inch). The mezuzah contains several passages of Scripture and is attached
to the upper right doorpost as one enters the house. It is believed by Jews to
be a symbol of Gods care, and a reminder of religious duty. It is a sign of a
Jewish home. A mezuzah may be purchased from a vendor of Jewish
religious materials. The firm named in the Unified Curriculum is the
Jonathan David Company, 131 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10016.
BASIC BELIEFS AND TEACHINGS
Judaism is based on the belief in one God, Creator of the universe, who
revealed His divine pattern for life for all mankind through the Torah, given
to Moses and the Jewish people at Mount Sinai. Jews believe that God hears
prayers and that the pure in heart may commune with Him directly without
any intercessor, They affirm that man is good and is not tainted with original
sin, and that immortality of the soul is the inheritance of everyone, especially
those who are remembered for good deeds.
Judaism is a religion of deed rather than creed. The deeds required are
both ritual and ethicalritual in relation to God, and ethical in relation to
ones fellowman. Ethics are inseparable from religion in Judaism, and the
deepest concern of the Torah is morality, both individual and social.
The most famous list of ethics is the Ten Commandments. Ethics in
Jewish sources cover every topic imaginablefrom avoiding cruelty to
animals to proper conduct in war. Charity, giving to those less fortunate
than oneself, is obligatory in all branches of Judaism. Study and learning are
of great importance to Jews; failure to learn is believed to be unholy.