Frequently Asked Questions on Soc.Culture.Jewish
Part 5: Worship, Conversion, Intermarriage, and other Practice Questions
[Last Post: Tue Mar 2 11:07:29 US/Pacific 2004]
The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer
questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family
of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the
various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to
accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In
all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your
local rabbi is a good place to start.
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The deceased sages described within are of blessed memory, (assume a
Z"L or ZT"L after their names) and the sages alive today should live
to see long and good days (assume SHLITA). May Hashem grant complete
recovery to the ill. Individual honorifics are omitted.
The FAQ was produced by a committee and is a cooperative work. The
contributors never standardized on transliteration scheme from Hebrew,
Aramaic, Yiddish, or Ladino to English. As a result, the same original
word might appear with a variety of spellings. This is complicated by
the fact that there are regional variations in the pronunciation of
Hebrew. In some places, the common spelling variations are mentioned;
in others--not. We hope that this is not too confusing.
In general, throughout this FAQ, North American (US/Canada) terms are
used to refer to the movements of Judaism. Outside of North American,
Reform is Progressive or Liberal Judaism; Conservative is Masorti or
Neolog, and Orthodoxy is often just "Judaism". Even with this, there
are differences in practice, position, and ritual between US/Canada
Reform and other progressive/liberal movements (such as UK
Progressive/ Liberal), and between US/Canada Conservative and the
conservative/Masorti movement elsewhere. Where appropriate, these
differences will be highlighted.
The goal of the FAQ is to present a balanced view of Judaism; where a
response is applicable to a particular movement only, this will be
noted. Unless otherwise noted or implied by the text, all responses
reflect the traditional viewpoint.
This list should be used in conjunction with the Soc.Culture.Jewish
reading lists. Similar questions can be found in the books
referenced in those lists.
There are also numerous other Jewish FAQs available on the Internet
that are not part of the SCJ FAQ/RL suite. An index to these may be
found at www.scjfaq.org/otherfaqs.html
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Reproduction of this posting for commercial use is subject to
restriction. See Part 1 for more details.
- News Headers
- Question 9.1: How does a rabbi differ from a priest?
- Question 9.2: Do you need a rabbi for a wedding?
- Question 9.3: Do you need a rabbi for a divorce?
- Question 9.4: How do Jews pray?
- Question 9.5: Is there a distinctly Jewish form of meditation?
- Question 9.6: Does Judaism have a strong tradition of religious art and music?
- Question 9.7: What is a synagogue?
- Question 9.8: What will I find in a synagogue?
- Question 9.9: How is a synagogue operated?
- Question 9.10: What functions does a synagogue serve?
- Question 9.11: What is the name of the Jewish God?
- Question 9.12: What is the reason for a "minyon" (a quorum of 10 men requried for certain prayers)?
- Question 9.13: What is the "Shema"?
- Question 9.14: Where can I learn about the prayers before eating?
- Question 9.15: What is the structure of the morning service?
- Question 9.16: When should morning services start?
- Question 9.17: Why do people put their tallit over their heads when they pray?
- Question 9.18: What is the importance of collective worship in Judaism?
- Question 9.19: What is the difference between Conservative Prayer and Orthodox Prayer?
- Question 9.20: What is the Timeline of Women in the Rabbinate?
- Question 9.21: Are extremely observant men permitted to pray at home?
- Question 9.22: What is the Qetzatzah Ceremony?
- Question 9.23: What time of day were the sacrifices offered?
- Question 10.1: Does Halacha (Jewish law) permit intermarriage?
- Question 10.2: I'm a Jew who married a gentile. Am I still Jewish?
- Question 10.3: I'm a Jew who accepted the tenets of another religion, but now wants to practice Judaism again. Am I allowed? Am
- Question 10.4: OK, then apart from halachic considerations, why do many Jews of all types oppose intermarriage?
- Question 10.5: Is objection to intermarriage a form of bigotry?
- Question 10.6: But I still want to intermarry? Do you know of a Rabbi that performs intermarriages?
- Question 10.7: How does one convert?
- Question 10.8: What about adults who are not circumcised?
- Question 10.9: What does the word "Jew" mean?
- Question 10.10: Who is a Jew?
- Question 10.11: What is the origin of Matrilineal Descent?
- Question 10.12: I've heard that Jewish parents consider an intermarried child as "dead". Is this true?
- Question 10.13: Why is the conversion process so complicated? The matriarchs didn't have to convert.
- Question 11.1.1: Dress: Why do some Jewish women wear wigs or cover their hair with a snood, beret, tichel, turban, kerchief or hat?
- Question 11.1.2: Dress: Why do many Jewish men wear head coverings (variously referred to as "yarmulkas," "skullcaps," and "kipot")?
- Question 11.1.3: Dress: What is a Tallis? Tzit-tzit(those fringes)? Why do Jews wear them?
- Question 11.1.4: Dress: What are those black boxes and leather straps Jewish men wear?
- Question 11.1.5: Dress: Why do many Jewish men sport beards and/or long sideburns?
- Question 11.1.6: Dress: Why do some Orthodox Jews, especially Chassidim, wear a distinctive style of clothing (i.e., fur hats,
- Question 11.1.7: Dress: What is Shaatnez?
- Question 11.1.8: Dress: Are there any special dress rules or customs for women?
- Question 11.1.9: Dress: What is a Kittel?
- Question 11.1.10: Dress: What is the large high ceremonial hat that the Rabbi wears in the synagogue called?
- Question 11.2.1: Sex and Purity: What's this I've heard about a hole in a sheet?
- Question 11.2.2: Sex and Purity: Can a Jewish man only uncover his wife a hands-breadth?
- Question 11.2.3: Sex and Purity: What is a "mikveh"?
- Question 11.2.4: Sex and Purity: What are Jewish hygene practices?
- Question 11.3.1: Writing: Why do some people write "G-d" with a hyphen instead of an `o'?
- Question 11.3.2: Writing: Why do some Jews write "J-s-s" and "Xianity?"
- Question 11.3.3: Writing: Why are somethings written in Hebrew, and others in Aramaic?
- Question 11.4.1: Practices Towards Others: Does Judaism permit slavery?
- Question 11.4.2: Practices Towards Others: What does "eye for an eye" mean?
- Question 11.4.3: Practices Towards Others: Is it permitted for a Jew to sell Christian objects?
- Question 11.6.1: Death and Burial: Is it true that someone with tattoos cannot be buried in a Jewish cemetery?
- Question 11.6.2: Death and Burial: I've heard about a custom of putting stones on the grave. Do you know where this custom
- Question 11.6.3: Death and Burial: Is "stone setting" at the cemetery within a year after death is a Jewish tradition?
- Question 11.6.4: Death and Burial: What are the Jewish mourning customs after the death of an immediate relative?
- Question 11.6.5: Death and Burial: What are Jewish funeral customs?
- Question 11.6.6: Death and Burial: Is getting cryogenically frozen against Judaism?
- Question 11.6.7: Death and Burial: Are Jews buried facing West?
- Question 11.6.8: Death and Burial: Can Jews be cremated?
- Question 11.6.9: Death and Burial: What is the Jewish position on Suicide?
- Question 11.6.10: Death and Burial: Can pregnant women attend a funeral?
- Question 11.6.11: Death and Burial: If a Jewish person lives in an area where there is no synagogue, no Jewish funeral home, and no
- Question 11.6.12: Death and Burial: Can Jews and Non-Jews be buried together?
- Question 11.6.13: Death and Burial: Must the Chevra Kedisha be family members?
- Question 11.6.14: Death and Burial: How have burial customs changed over time?
- Question 11.6.15: Death and Burial: Why do Jews emphasize burial within 24 hours?
- Question 11.7.1: Charity: What are the levels of giving?
- Question 11.8.1: Sacrifices: When did Jews stop making animal sacrifices?
- Question 11.8.2: Sacrifices: What replaced animal sacrifices in Jewish practice?
- Question 11.8.3: Sacrifices: How do sacrifices relate to compassion for animals?
- Question 11.8.4: Sacrifices: Will sacrifices be restored if the Temple is rebuilt?
- Question 11.9.1: Symbols: Why are Jews called Jews?
- Question 11.9.2: Symbols: What does the Star of David represent and what is its symbolism?
- Question 11.9.3: Symbols: What is the signficance of "Chai" and the number 18?
- Question 11.9.4: Symbols: What is a Mezuzah?
- Question 11.9.5: Symbols: What is a Menorah?
- Question 11.9.6: Symbols: What is the significance of the number 5?
- Question 11.9.7: Symbols: What is the significance of the number 3?
- Question 11.9.8: Symbols: What is the significance of the number 40?
- Question 11.9.9: Symbols: What is the significance of the number 7?
- Question 11.9.10: Symbols: Are there any Jewish housewarming rituals?
- Question 11.9.11: Symbols: What is the significance of blue in Judaism? Are there other special colors?
- Question 11.9.12: Symbols: What is the significance of the number 8?
- How do I obtain copies of the FAQ?
- Who Wrote the FAQ?
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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM