The religions of
Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism all have there own beliefs. These
beliefs play a big role in a person?s everyday life, and influence
aspects of their culture such as holidays, diet, social structure,
art, and music. In Judaism, they believe that the Sabbath day should
be kept holy, and that you should follow the Ten Commandments, the
laws of G-d. Their diets consist of kosher food, and have there own
New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Hindus believe in Brahman and Karma, which
are both a part of the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. They?re
vegetarians, and have a fairly complex social structure called the
caste system. Buddhists believe in Buddha?s teachings of the Four
Noble Truths. These lead to there belief in following the Eightfold
Path in order to reach nirvana. Their art consists of statues of the
Buddha, each part having its own meaning. Their music was for the
temple and they had their own special way of singing.
beliefs in the religion of Judaism are that the Sabbath is holy, and
that you should follow the Ten Commandments. Sabbath, or Shabbat in
Hebrew means "cease" or "desist." It takes place
from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday, and you are
prohibited from doing any work, unless it severely effects your life
or health. The mistress of the house lights two white candles and
says a blessing. An Omeg is held after Friday night or Saturday
afternoon services, where there?s usually refreshments, songs, and
lectures. It took G-d six days to create the world, and on the
seventh day he rested. When G-d gave the Ten Commandments to Moses,
he asked that the people also rest on the seventh day of the week.
The Ten Commandments are the laws of G-d given to Moses at Mount
Sinai. They state that: (1) You shall have no other g-ds before me,
(2) I am the only g-d, (3) You shall not take the Lord?s name in
vain, (4) Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy, (5) Honor your
Father and Mother, (6) You shall not kill, (7) You shall not commit
adultery, (8) You shall not steal, (9) You shall not bare false
witness against your neighbor, and (10) You shall not covet (be
jealous of) your neighbor. The first four are covenants between you
and G-d, and the last six are between you and other people. The Ten
Commandments were written on two stone tablets by G-d, and are in the
Old Testament of the Bible. It is believed that Moses, in fury of the
sight of people disobeying G-d, threw down and destroyed them. No one
knows where the tablets remain today.
eat kosher food, and celebrate the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Kosher,
meaning "fit or proper" is used to refer to food in
accordance to Jewish dietary laws. The animals must chew their cud
and have cloven hooves. Fish must have distinct scales and fins (no
shellfish). The food must not be derived from animals, birds, or fish
prohibited in Leviticus 11 or Deuteronomy 14, meat must be
slaughtered by the method of shehitah, the meat must be salted and
soaked to get rid of all blood, and milk will not be mixed with meat.
A special way of preparing and slaughtering the meat (shehitah) also
applies. First, a certified (by a rabbi) shohet says a prayer over
the animal. Using an extremely sharp, nick-free knife, a swift sweep
is made across the throat, making the animal unconscious. All blood
is then drained from the animal. Many Jewish people keep a kosher
home every day and on holidays like Rosh Hashanah. This is the Jewish
New Year, and means, "head of the year" in Hebrew. It is
also sometimes referred to as Yom Ha-Zikkaron ("the day of
remembrance"), or Yom Teruah ("the day of the sounding of
the shofar"). It takes place on the first and second of Tishrei
(Jewish calendar), and is one of the most holy days of the year. It?s
celebrating the creation of the world, and some traditions are the
blowing of the shofar and dipping apples into honey. The shofar, or
ram?s horn, is sounded after service, and its notes call for a
spiritual awakening. Dipping apples (or bread) into honey is to
remind us to have a sweet new year. This is a time for
self-evaluation, and to look back on the mistakes you?ve made in the
past year. It is the first of ten days of penitence, and you make up
for mistakes that you?ve made, and confess sins. It ends with the
holiday of Yom Kippur, the last day you are judged.
they believe in Brahman, Karma, and do not eat meat. Brahman is the
Supreme Hindu G-d. All other g-ds and goddesses are aspects of
Brahman. In fact, everything in the world is part of Brahman. He
destroys, recreates, maintains and creates in samsara, which is the
cycle of birth, death, and rebirth again. It is a Hindu?s main goal
in life to reach Brahman, and by following one?s dharma (rules and
regulations one must follow starting at birth), one?s soul may
eventually be united with him. By following your dharma, you may also
have a good next life and be reborn into a higher social class. The
total bad and good deed a human soul carries from one life to the
next is karma. The number of good and bad deeds you do also affects
your next life, whether you?re human/animal, rich/poor, happy/sad,
and things you may experience in this next life. They believe that
even though your body dies, your soul is taken into a new body.
Hindus? diets consist of only vegetation, because they believe that a
person in one life could be an animal in another. Therefore, if you
killed an animal, it would be like murdering a human. So you would be
robbing them of the chance to ever reach their goal in life (reaching
Brahman). That is why they treat animals and people as equals.
structure is broken into special groups based on birth (you?d belong
to your parent?s group), called castes. The castes, or varnas, were
organized from highest to lowest in the following order:
priests/Brahmans, warriors, landowners/ merchants/ herders, servants/
peasants, and the untouchables. Each had its? own set of rules
regarding cooking, diet, marriage, home, clothing, employment,
contact, and much more. For example, you could only marry members of
the same class, and a higher Varna could not come into contact with a
person of a lower Varna. The highest caste was considered spiritually
clean, so when they came in contact with the lower, they were no
longer considered pure. This is also why Brahmans/ priests had to be
the cooks. Each caste had different jobs that were determined at
birth. In 1947, Gandhi rejected the caste system, when India became
Beliefs of the
religion of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold
Path. The four parts to the Four Noble Truths are: (1) Life is
suffering (Dukka). This recognizes that there is always suffering in
life, may it be aging, death, sickness, grief, or separation from
loved ones. (2) Desire causes suffering (Samudaya), because when you
crave things, you become greedy, and can?t always get what you want.
(3) Suffering can be ended (Nirodha), because once you stop craving
things, you stop suffering. (4) Following the Eightfold Path leads to
rejection of desire/suffering (Magga), and reaching nirvana, which is
perfect peace. The Eightfold Path says that you have right: view and
thought which is the quality of wisdom (panna); speech, action, and
livelihood which is the quality of morality (sila); and effort,
mindfulness, and concentration which is the quality of meditation
(samadhi). All are important in order to reach nirvana.
In art, the
Buddha is very special, and each part of it has a meaning. His hands
are always in one of several positions (mudras). When his hand is on
his knee (bhumisparsha), he is calling early beings to be witnesses
for his Enlightenment. His hand in his lap represents the physical
world. An open hand (abhaya) means blessing and protection, and when
the pointer-finger is up, he is favor granting a position. Hands
folded in his lap mean he is teaching. His "hair/brain" is
representing his superior knowledge, and is in a top not, or wisdom
bun (ushnisa). This was typical for a wandering ascetic. His long
earlobes remind us of when the prince wore elaborate earrings, and
his robe for when he gave up his property in search of Enlightenment.
We recognize him for his long, straight toes, and sitting position
temple music is particularly renowned in the west for its two forms
of polyphonic singing known as jok-kay (low tone) and bar-da (high
tone). In both forms, each of the main chantmasters simultaneously
intones three notes (each individually creating a complete chord).
They are the only people on Earth that have this vocal ability. This
tradition is also known as "overtone singing" because it is
accomplished by means of learning to control the muscles of the vocal
cavity and then re-shaping it while singing, thus intensifying the
natural overtones of the voice. The body is therefore transformed
into an effective overtone amplifier.
All of these
beliefs are important to each religion in there own way. They?re what
make each religion individual and special. They?ve affected our
cultures today greatly in various topics. The Sabbath, Ten
Commandments, Rosh Hashanah, and kosher food are all part of Judaism.
Hindus believe in Brahman, Karma, and they are vegetarians and are
organized into a system of castes. Buddhist statues, music, the Four
Noble Truths, and the Eightfold Path are all part of the religion of
Buddhism. These things make up their religions.
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