‘It strengthens the Jewish family to share rituals in the home’ Essay
‘It strengthens the Jewish family to share rituals in the home’. Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show that you have thought about different points of view.In all divisions of the Jewish faith, the family is regards the most important fundamental beginning of the faith and the Jewish community. The importance of the Jewish family is that it can carry on customs of the Jewish faith without the need for a synagogue. This would have been particularly good for the Jews who were held in captivity in Egypt. Due to many of their rituals taking place in the home and not in a Synagogue they would have been able to carry on carrying out their customs in their own homes even though there was no Synagogue.Firstly I would agree that rituals in the home strengthen the Jewish family. This helps them because once a week, the family spends time together and so each family member can get to know the others very well. This is different to Christian families who do not have this time together often and when they do (e.g. Christmas), the family do not always like it; lawyers stating that their busiest time of year is just after Christmas with lots of divorces after families being forced to spend time in each other’s company confirm this point. By having the ritual of Shabbat every week, I believe that the family unit in a Jewish household is strengthened as the family is required to spend time together, so each member of the family becomes closer to each other than they otherwise would, e.g. elder brother and sisters.The other rituals that are held in the home also increase knowledge of the faith and religion. The celebrations at Passover, Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah all allow the children to ask questions about their faith and why certain rituals occur. This is particularly noticeable at Passover when a part of the ritual is that the youngest child asks the father about the story of Passover. I believe that this allows the children to learn about their religion from learning by stories. As a result I believe that they will appreciate their faith more and take part in it more strongly because they have learnt the rituals in their house.The family may also be brought together by the enjoyment of preparing for their celebrations in the home, as young Christian children celebrate Christmas together and really get along in the ‘Christmas Spirit’, the same can be said of young, Jewish children who prepare for the celebrations and the special meal. This meal can also bring the family together, like Thanksgiving and Christmas as the whole family enjoys themselves at the same time, sharing jokes and stories.When the family get together, usually in the house of the eldest, the whole family would be under one roof. This allows everyone to keep in contact with relatives they would otherwise see only perhaps once every few years. I believe that this is good for the family as there is no feeling of some person becoming left out and, again the family unit bonds together.However, I do believe that there would be times when the rituals of the Jewish household may have an adverse effect on the family. Due to the whole family being under the same roof and, at Shabbat, together for some length of time I believe that tension might grow between family members, especially ones who do not get along. This forced time together might only make the tension worse and if a row were to follow, family ties might become cut, although perhaps only in serious cases.Another problem with the rituals of the Jewish family I think would be for the children. Firstly, they might miss out on schoolwork due to the timings of celebrations, although some schools acknowledge the faith and the problem can be averted. Secondly the children might lose out on the social aspect of their life. If they have to spend every Friday night and Saturday at home to celebrate the Sabbath, then their non-Jewish friends might think that something is strange and, as a result, will not invite them around, as they know that the children cannot come.The final area I think there would be a problem for the household would be where the family splits or family members move far away. For those who are divorced there would be the issue of what happens at Passover, Shabbat etc. Which house do they visit, which parent would take the children? All of these pressures build up in the family and it could suffer. Also, for those who live far away, the strain of getting to the house for the celebration may be too much and they may decide not to go at all. This may cause an argument in the family, which again is due to the rituals that would be taken.In conclusion I believe that Jewish families do mostly become stronger as a result of the rituals in the home as they allow children to learn and the family unit to become one. However, as with anything, there may be a problem in some families.