How Much Do You
Know About Jewish Traditions?
By D DeAngelis
The Jewish faith has been in existence for over 5,700
years. There are many traditions Jewish people have
passed down through the generations and these traditions
are observed every year.
Almost all of the holiday gatherings involve meals and
prayer. Sometimes the oldest person says the blessings
and sometimes it is the youngest, it all depends on
which holiday the family is observing. Some of the foods
that are commonly served are challah and matzo ball
soup. Challah is an egg based braided bread, sometimes
served with honey. Matzo ball soup is chicken based and
has large round noodles. Many Jewish families have a
grandmother or great grandmother who is known for making
excellent matzo ball soup.
Passover is observed in early spring. It's a holiday of
freedom. It's a celebration by the Jewish people. We
celebrate being liberated from slavery by Pharaoh in
Egypt over 3,000 years ago. Jewish families enjoy having
meals together and reading passages of the Exodus from
the Siddur. The ritual includes blessings, pouring of
the wine, and questions about the meaning of the event.
The meal includes unleavened bread and bitter herbs, the
bread symbolizing the haste with which the Israelites
left Egypt and the herbs symbolize the bitterness of
Hanukkah is the most known holiday of the Jewish faith.
About 3,500 years ago the Jews regained their temple
back from the Syrians. When the Jews regained their
temple, they placed a Menorah, (a nine branched
candelabrum) with only one day worth of oil.
Surprisingly, the oil lasted for eight days. That
miracle proved that G-d had taken his people under his
protection. In memory of this our ancestors appointed
these eight days, for the annual Thanksgiving and candle
lighting. With my family, during this time we light one
candle every night, say blessings and open presents.
These are a few of the rituals practiced by the Jewish
faith. Some of the other holidays are Yom Kippur, (time
to repent) and Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year).
In the Jewish religion you also have milestones to reach
as you get older. For example, when a child turns
thirteen he or she has a Bar or Bat Mitzvah (becoming a
man or a woman). A few years after the Bar or Bat
Mitzvah he or she decides if they want to be confirmed
(reconfirming our faith). I feel every time families
celebrate these traditions it renews their faith. In
addition, to religious classes twice a week during the
school year many families also attend services. I feel
this reaffirms that one day they will pass these
traditions on to their own family.