Judaism History

The Jews were an ancient people who had resided in Europe and North Africa after the exile by the Romans in 70CE. They established rich cultural and economic lives and contributed greatly to the societies where they lived. During the British rule in Palestine, the Jewish people were subject to great violence and massacres directed by Arab civilians or forces of the neighboring Arab states.

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In 1948, the Jewish Community in Israel under the leadership of David Ben-Gurion reestablished sovereignty over their ancient homeland. They had a strong sense of vocation, being covenanted by God to be holy people with a unique oral mission for mankind. A great number of these Jews reached the United States. In 1924 the United States had placed strict limits on immigration and the number of Jews admitted was drastically reduced. There are an estimated 13.5 million Jews in the world, approximately 5.3 million in the United States, 5.8 million in Israel and the remainder dispersed throughout the world.

Moses was the main founder of Judaism, but Jews can trace their history back as far as Abraham. They mainly speak Yiddish which is a medieval Germanic dialect mixed with Hebrew and some Slavic words and in modern times developed a rich literature in this folk tongue. Jewish languages feature a syncretism of indigenous Hebrew and Judeo-Aramaic with the languages of the local non-Jewish population.

Human health is core values in the Jewish tradition. Hebrew scriptures suggest that illness is the result of sinful behavior and are sometimes depicted as afflicted with their illness because of ethical shortcoming. Jews have a higher carrier rate for more than 40 genetic diseases such as Tay-Sachs, Gaucher disease, Cystic Fibrosis, Bloom syndrome, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Fragile X Syndrome. These genetic diseases arise because of the common ancestry many Jews share due to specific gene mutations. The Judaism is the term for the religion of the Jewish people. It has several branches which include Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist. Judaism religious leader is called Rabbi, where they worship is called a synagogue or temple. The practice of Judaism began when one God revealed himself to the nomadic tribes of the Middle East at Mt, Sinai in Egypt thousands of years before the birth of Christ. There are many strict rules regarding the Judaism hygiene, diet, social justice, ethical behavior, social justice for the powerless and religious ceremony. All these rules were passed down orally and were later written down in the Torah, which is the basis for both the Hebrew Tanakh and the Christian Old Testament.

Orthodox Jews and some Conservative Jewish groups

The orthodox Jews follow the strictest interpretation of Jewish law. Hassidim sometimes termed Ultra-Orthodox Jews are the most pious of Orthodox Jews. Following Halacha is obligatory and thus of all branches. Conservative Judaism emphasizes the historical development of Judaism by allowing it to adjust since it views the basic Jewish theological and ritual concepts as objects of continuing the change. There is a strong emphasis on preserving the people of Israel and Zionism. The following are the Orthodox Judaism beliefs and Healthcare Care of women They believe a woman is not in the state of purity whenever blood is coming from her uterus such as during menstrual period or after the birth of a child until the woman bathes herself in a pool called mikvah. Her husband will not touch or have physical contact with her wife during the time of her impurity. An Orthodox Jewish man will not touch any woman other than his wife, mother, and daughter.

Dietary rules

They practice Kosher dietary rules which include no mixing of milk and meat, not eating any animal not slaughtered according to Jewish law, they use separate utensils for milk and meat. If a parent requires milk and meat products for a meal, the dairy foods should be served first and followed later by the meat. Fasting is required during the Yom Kippur holiday unless one cannot fast for medical reasons, not eating raised bread during Passover. They observed quiet places for saying thanksgiving before and after the meal.

Birth

Babies are named by the father. Male children are named by eight days after being born and when circumcision is done. Circumcision is a religious ritual performed by a man called mohel on the eight days of the boy’s life. It’s the removal of the penile foreskin. Female babies are normally named while the Torah is read in the synagogue.

Sabbathday

Sabbath day is observed from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. The Orthodox law says not to ride in a car, smoke or use lights, use of money, using a telephone, and watching television. Surgery or any other medical treatments should be postponed if possible.

Fertility practice

Artificial birth control is discouraged, and vasectomy is forbidden for Orthodox beliefs. Abortion can only be allowed to save the mother’s life or in a terrified circumstance. Organ transplant Donor organ transplants are not permitted by orthodox Jews. It may only be allowed with the rabbi’s approval. Head covering and shaving Orthodox men wear skull cap all the time called yarmulkes. The women also cover their head after marriage. Some women also wear wigs as a mark of piety. The men beard is a sign of holiness and shaving should not be done with a razor or blade but with scissors or electric razor and no blade must touch the skin.

Death

Judaism beliefs death happen when respiration and circulation stopped and cannot be corrected. Orthodox Judaism forbids the use of life-support measures. Before death, the Jewish faith specifies that it’s the duty of the family and friends to visit, the Torah, and Psalms may be read and recited. Someone needs to be with the patients when he or she dies and when the leaves the body.

After the death, the body should not be left alone until burial, usually within 24 hours. The body may only be touched or washed by an Orthodox person or the Jewish burial society. On the Sabbath day, handling of the corpse is forbidden to a Jewish person. Water in the room must be emptied, the mirror may be covered to symbolized death, no flowers are allowed. Orthodox and conservative Jews do not approve autopsies if done, all body parts removed must be buried with the body. Organs or the other parts of the body parts amputated limbs must be available for burial for an orthodox. A seven-day mourning period is required by the immediate family member, they must stay at home except on Sabbath day to worship.

Reform Judaism

This is the most liberal and non-authoritarian of mainstream branches regards to Torah. Revelation is thought to be a continuing process. In Reform Judaism, during birth orthodox practice may or may not be practice but circumcision may be observed. The beliefs do not follow the rules about not touching women. The kosher diet is usually not observed, there’s Friday evening worship in the temple but no other rules. They allow life support but heroic measure. They allow cremation, but the ashes should be buried in a Jewish cemetery. Praying is usually done without yarmulkes.

  1. References
  2. Berkley Center for Religion, & Georgetown University. (n.d.). Judaism on Health and Illness. Retrieved from https://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/essays/judaism-on-health-and-illness
  3. Hanukoglu, I. (n.d.). Israel Science and Technology Directory. Retrieved from https://www.science.co.il/israel-history/
  4. Jewish Beliefs and Practices Jewish prisoner services. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://jpsi.org/resources/jewishpractices/
  5. Linton, A.D. (2016) Introduction to medical-surgical nursing (6th ed.), 69.
  6. St Louis, MO: Elsevier The 5 Most Common Ashkenazi Genetic Diseases & How NGF Can Help you get screened. (2017, June 14). Retrieved from https://www.gaucherdisease.org/blog/5-common-ashkenazi-genetic-diseases/
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