Judaism as a Way of Life
Judaism is a way of life. It is a religion that goes beyond the normal boundaries and reaches deep into daily life. "To be Jewish is to live a certain way before God, not to hold to a specific creed or confession " (Rousmaniere, 128). The laws of the Torah, its interpretations in the Mishnah and the Talmud teach a Jewish person how to live and what rules to follow. To be Jewish means more than just going to a synagogue and praying. Jewish traditions place a high value on the sanctity of daily life and community spirit. Prayers were not limited to the synagogue, but also took on an active role in the home. Meals were very important in the Jewish tradition. Blessings were said at the beginning and the
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Judaism is based on a three-legged stool. One of these legs consists of acts of charity. Charitable works, justice and fairness to all people are part of the sturdy foundation of Judaism and are a vital part in a person's life. A Jewish person must always be clean and pure in the eyes of God when preparing to worship. Therefore there were ritual washings to remove the evils so God could not see them. Water became very symbolic and entailed a profound spiritual meaning. The idea of purity encompassed a large part of Jewish life. For example, a woman is not pure during and for the following week after her monthly period. She was not allowed to engage in sex with her husband until she went to the Mikvah and purified herself again. This was one of the reasons why Jews were very fertile. Following this purification, the woman's menstrual cycle was at the point of ovulation. This time held the greatest possibility to conceive a child. A Jewish person must also visit the Mikvah to purify one's self after a funeral, (which they were only allowed to attend if it was part of their immediate family), coming in contact with a deceased person, visiting a cemetery or attaining any contact with death.
The different outlooks regarding the story of Adam and Eve allow us to see the different approaches between Christianity and Judaism. Christianity believes Adam's sin is passed down to all his descendants and the only way to be free of that sin is to