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Information on the Jewish Religion

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Judaism is the oldest of the world's four biggest monotheistic religions (religions with only one god). It's also the smallest, with only about 12 million followers around the world.

Jewish history begins with the covenant established between God and Abraham around 1812 BC (over 3,800 years ago), during the Bronze Age, in the Middle East.

The Torah (Jewish Law), the primary document of Judaism, was given to the Jews by the Prophet Moses (Moshe) about 3,300 anni fa.

The Jewish calendar starts with the day when Adam and Eve were created (the Sixth Day of Creation). This year (2010) is 5770 on the Jewish Calendar. It starts with Rosh HaShanah, the two day Jewish New Year. From September 2010, the Jewish Calendar will be 5771.

There are large Jewish populations in Israel and the U.S.

Luogo di origine Israele
Fondatore Abraham
Sacred Text The TeNaCh (Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim)
Sacred Building Sinagoga
Luogo sacro Gerusalemme
Grandi festival Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Pentecost), Sukkot (Tabernacles)
Main Branches
Orthodox, Reform, Conservative


  1. Where did Judaism originate from?

  2. What do Jews believe?

  3. Who is the founder of Judaism?

  4. Chi è Abramo?

  5. What is the Symbol of Judaism?

  6. What is a Menorah?

  7. What is a Mezuzah?

  8. Where do Jews worship?

  9. What are the spiritual leaders called?

  10. What is the Jewish Holy Book called?

  11. What is the Tanach?

  12. What is the most important day of the week for Jews?

  13. What happens on the Shabbat in a Jewish family?

  14. What special things do Jews wear?

  15. What are bar mitzvah and a bat mitzvah?

  16. What do Jews call marriage?

  17. What are the different types of Jews?

  18. What is Kosher food?

  19. What are the main Jewish festivals?

Where did Judaism originate from?

Judaism originated in Israel around 4000 years ago.

What do Jews believe?

Jews believe that there is a single God who not only created the universe, but with whom every Jew can have an individual and personal relationship.

Who is the founder of Judaism?

Jewish history begins with the covenant established between God and Abraham around 1812 BC, during the Bronze Age, in the Middle East. Abraham is considered as the father of the family of Jews.

Moses, is also an important figure as he gave the Jews the Torah around 1250 B.C. The Torah contains the laws of God.

Chi è Abramo?

Abraham is the father of the Jewish people. Jews see Abraham as a symbol of trusting and obeying God. Abraham is also important to followers of Cristianesimo e di Islam.

The story of Abraham is told in the Book of Genesis (the first book of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles) in chapters 12-25.

Who is Moses?

Moses is the leader who freed them from slavery in Egypt. Moses protected the Jews from the wrath of God, and negotiated with God on their behalf. 

What is the Symbol of Judaism?

The symbol or emblem of the Jewish people is the Magen David (Shield of David), also known as the Star of David.

What is a Menorah?

The Menorah is one of the oldest symbols of the Jewish faith. It is a candelabrum with seven candle holders displayed in Jewish synagogues. It symbolises the burning bush as seen by Moses on Mount Sinai. The two most common menorahs have seven and nine candle-holders. The term hanukiah or chanukiah, refers to the nine-candled holder used during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.

What is a Mezuzah?

A mezuzah is found on doorposts in Jewish homes. It is a little case, containing a tiny scroll. The writing on the scroll is from the bible. It is in Hebrew and is called the Shema. It says that Jewish people should love God and keep his rules.

Jewish artefacts

Where do Jews worship?

Jews worship in Sinagoghe. Men and women usually sit separately in the Synagogues

Men are required to cover their heads. In most cases worship takes place in Hebrew.

What are the spiritual leaders called?

The Jewish spiritual leaders are called Rabbis. Unlike leaders in many other faiths, a rabbi is not a priest and has no special religious status.

What is the Jewish Holy Book called?

The most holy Jewish book is the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible). Others include Judaism's oral tradition, the written form of which is known as the Talmud.

The Torah (or teachings) contains the five books revealed to Moses by God on Mount Sinai.
  1. Genesi 
  2. Exodus
  3. Levitico
  4. numeri
  5. Deuteronomio

Il progetto Torah is stored inside the Ark.

No one is allowed to touch the Torah, so a special pointer called a yad is used to follow words when reading it.

Tanach (Tenach)

The collection of Jewish scripture is known as the TaNaCH (TeNaK) which derives from the three parts to the Jewish scriptures the Torah, the Nevi'im and the Ketuvim. The word TaNaCH is actually an acronym for the parts of the Hebrew Bible: "T" is for Torah, "N" is for Nevi'im, and "CH" is for Ketuvim. The Torah is the first part of the TaNaCH.
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What is the most important day of the week for Jews?

The most important day of the week is the Sabbath (Shabbat), which is a day made holy by refraining from weekday work.

When does the Sabbath start and end?

The Jewish holy day, or Sabbath, starts at sunset on Friday and continues until sunset on Saturday. During the Sabbath, observant Jews will do nothing that might be counted as work. Among the things that they can't do are driving and cooking.

What happens on the Shabbat in a Jewish family?

At the beginning of Shabbat Jewish families share a meal. They eat special bread called hallah. On the Sabbath, Jews attend services at the synagogue, often led by a Rabbi.

What special things do Jews wear?

Kippah (a skull cap)

On their heads a devout Jew always wears the kippah to remind him that he is always duty bound to follow the laws of God at all times and in all places.

Tallit (a prayer shawl)

Before beginning to worship or pray the devout Jew will often put on a tallit. The fringes on the shawl remind him of the many commandments of the Torah.

Tefilin (small leather box with long leather straps attached)

The boxes are worn on the left forearm and on the forehead. Inside the boxes are passages from the scriptures. A tefilin on the left arm is a reminder to keep God's laws with all your heart, because it is near to the heart. A tefilin on the forehead remind the Jew to concentrate on the teachings of the Torah with all your full mind.

Tefilin are worn when praying at home or in the synagogue.


What is a bar mitzvah and a bat mitzvah?

They are both special ceremonies where Jewish boys (aged 13) and girls (aged 12) can become adults in the eyes of the Jewish religion.

Bar mitzvah is for boys and means Son of the Commandment.

Bat mitzvah is for girls and means Daughter of the Commandment.

What do Jews call marriage?

Jews call marriage kiddushin. This is a Hebrew word which means made holy or special.

What is different about a Jewish wedding compared to a Christian wedding?

  • The couple are married under a huppah (a volte scritto chuppah), a canopy. (immagine)
  • The couple make a written contract or promises together. This is called the ketubah.
  • A glass is broken to remind them that their joy will neer be complete until the Holy Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt.

What is similar in Jewish weddings and Christian weddings?

Both couples give each other a ring. The ring is a token or simbolo of their promises

What are the different types of Jews?

The three main types in Britain are:

  • Orthodox (the most religiously observant),
  • Reform and
  • Liberale

There are other subdivisions within these but this represents British Judaism in its simplest form. Per saperne di più qui

What is Kosher food?

Kosher foods are those that conform to Jewish law. This means no mixing of dairy and meat, no pork or pork products and no shell fish.

La carne
The animal from which the meat is taken must have been slaughtered in accordance with prescribed Jewish ritual. Jews cannot eat meat from any animal which does not both chew its cud (food brought up into the mouth by an animal from its first stomach to be chewed again) and has a split hoof; animals such as rabbit or hare, pig, horse, dog or cat are therefore prohibited.

Jews may eat fish that have both fins and scales that are detachable from the skin.

Click here for our calendar of Religious Festivals

Quali e quando sono le principali feste ebraiche?

Pasqua ebraica

Passover (Pesach in Hebrew) is celebrated to commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of slavery in Egypt by Moses.

Si tratta di un importante festival di otto giorni. Un punto culminante è il pasto dei Seder che si tiene a casa di ogni famiglia all'inizio del festival, quando la storia della loro liberazione viene raccontata come narrata nell'Haggadah (il Racconto, la Storia). La matzah (pane azzimo) viene consumata durante la festa, così come altri cibi che non contengono lievito. C'è una grande pulizia di primavera in casa prima della festa per garantire che nessuna traccia di lievito rimanga in casa durante Pesach.

Rosh Hashanah - Capodanno ebraico

Rosh Hashanah è la festa del capodanno ebraico e commemora la creazione del mondo.

Questa festa segna il capodanno ebraico e inizia con dieci giorni di pentimento e autoesame, durante i quali Dio giudica ogni persona. Il festival è anche conosciuto come il Giorno del Giudizio, il Giorno del Suono dello Shofar e il Giorno del Ricordo.

Durante i due giorni di Rosh Hashanah, ci sono servizi speciali alla sinagoga. Uno strumento musicale, chiamato shofar, viene suonato. Emette un suono acuto e penetrante come una tromba e ricorda agli ebrei il grande potere di Dio.

Persone est fette di mela immerse nel miele. Questo è un modo per augurarsi a vicenda un dolce e felice Anno Nuovo.

Happy New Year - 'Leshanah Tovah Tikatevy'

Yom Kippur - il giorno dell'espiazione

Lo Yom Kippur, il giorno più sacro e solenne dell'anno ebraico, conclude i giorni del pentimento.

Oltre a digiunare per 25 ore, gli ebrei trascorrono la giornata in preghiera, chiedendo perdono e decidendo di comportarsi meglio in futuro.

Sukkot / Sukkoth

Sukkot commemorates the years that the Jews spent in the desert on their way to the Promised Land. Some lived in tents whilst others built huts out of leaves and branches. These huts were called sukkot.

Durante la festa, alcuni ebrei costruiscono la propria sukkah nel giardino o nella sinagoga. Gli ebrei consumano i loro pasti nella sukkah per gli otto o nove giorni della festa.

Ci sono regole per fare la sukkah. Ogni sukkah deve avere almeno tre muri. Il tetto della sukkah deve essere fatto di materiale denominato sekhakh, che significa "copertura". La "copertura" deve essere qualcosa che è cresciuto dal terreno ed è stato tagliato, come rami di alberi, steli di mais, canne di bambù o bastoncini. Sekhakh (la copertura del tetto) dovrebbe essere rada e lasciata abbastanza sciolta in modo che le stelle possano essere viste.

C'è un servizio speciale di Sukkot nella sinagoga. Ognuno tiene in mano i rami di tre alberi e nella destra un cedro. Fanno il giro della sinagoga sette volte, agitando i rami.

(Sukkah is the singular, Sukkot is the plural)


Hanukkah o Chanukah è il Festival ebraico delle luci. Risale a due secoli prima dell'inizio del cristianesimo. È una vacanza di otto giorni che inizia la 25a notte del mese ebraico di Kislev

Hanukka celebra la miracolosa vittoria sulla persecuzione religiosa in Terra Santa e commemora anche la ridedicazione del Secondo Tempio a Gerusalemme e il miracolo dell'olio in fiamme. Qui è dove l'olio della menorah (il candelabro nel tempio) bruciava miracolosamente per otto giorni, anche se c'era olio sufficiente per un solo giorno.

Tisha B'av
Tisha B'av è un'occasione solenne perché commemora una serie di tragedie che hanno colpito il popolo ebraico nel corso degli anni

Tu B'Shevat
Tu B'Shevat è il "Capodanno ebraico per gli alberi". È uno dei quattro nuovi anni ebraici (Rosh Hashanahs).

Yom Hashoah
Yom Hashoah è un giorno riservato agli ebrei per ricordare l'Olocausto.


Calendario delle feste religiose

Teddy's Day Out - An Interactive Game for Kids
Help Teddy to find the Jewish symbols.

The Seder Plate - Temple of Northern Westchester

Jewish Timeline

The Jewish Wedding Ceremony

Per bambini

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