The Importance of Sharing Religious Rituals in the Home for Jewish Families

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The Importance of Sharing Religious Rituals in the Home for Jewish Families

The home is central to Judaism as it is the setting in which a husband and wife mature together and where children are taught about their religion through example and direct instruction. Both Orthodox and Liberal Jews will share rituals as a family at home but will not share the same attitudes and degree of discipline. This can lead to different behaviour.

Sharing rituals in the home can bring a family closer together because they are spending time together and are unified by their faith. The Shabbat meal can bring the family together because the family are sharing the Challot and teaching and learning about their faith.
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However, Shabbat may not strengthen a Jewish family but instead cause tension. This may be brought about by some family members, especially children and teenagers, not wanting to follow the Shabbat laws if they feel excluded from their friends. They may also resent the repetitiveness of the celebrating Shabbat every week. If the mother in a Jewish family grew to resent having to make such extensive preparations every week, this too could cause tension.

Sharing this type of family ritual could become monotonous if performed weekly and I think I would come to feel anger towards my parents if they made me take part every week and stopped me from going out. On the other hand, spending time with your family may mean that you would get on better together and as I grew older I might come to appreciate their discipline towards these religious rituals.

At Pesach, when Jews celebrate the Exodus from Egypt, the escape from slavery and the goodness of God for providing for them, all the family help with the preparations. The family remove all the chamez (leavened bread) from the house and make it into a game by hiding the pieces of bread. They also prepare the food for the Sedar meal and clean the house. During the Sedar meal, questions such as "Why is tonight different from all other nights?" are answered and everyone is encourage to ask or help answer them. At Sukkot families
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