Judaism in Westminster
Judaism is a faith that goes back four thousand years to Abraham, the first monotheist. His story is related in the Torah, the sacred text of Judaism, which is written by hand in the scrolls that can be seen in any synagogue. The rabbis said that the world is based on three things, on Torah, on worship and on deeds of loving kindness. The declaration of faith in Judaism can be found in the SHEMA: "Hear O Israel, the Eternal One is our God, the Eternal God is One". Jews traditonally say this twice a day, thereby making a connection with God and with other Jews all over the world.
Jews live their lives according to mitzvot (commandments) given in the Torah. These include ritual and ethical commandments. For example Jews are commanded to eat kosher food but also to love their nieghbours and care for the poor and the needy. A synagogue functions as a house of prayer, a house of study, and a house of assembly. Graven images, including human images, are prohibited in the Synagogue. Instead the focus is on the ARK and the NER TAMID (everlasting light) which hangs above it, a reminder of the everlasting light in the temple which was a symbol of God's presence.
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