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The Jewish Synagogue, Judaism JUDAISM The Jewish Synagogue, The Tree of Life, was built in 1986. It is one of three in the City of Columbia. The Synagogue was a very interesting, outside of the building was a sculpture of the Star of David to add to the beauty of the very well kept grounds. The windows in the Synagogue were beautifully sculptured with the events of Christ s life on earth and His returning to heaven. We learned that on every Jewish door there is a mezz uch (a door post with the watchword of Jewish faith).
The locations of this particular Jewish faith (The Tree of Life) are; Lady Street, Woodrow Street and Trenholm Road. The Tree of Life is a reformed Jewish congregation. One of the tour guides gave us a little history regarding the Jewish faith and pointed out the differences between Conservative, Orthodox and Reformed Judaism. The Jewish people came to South Carolina primarily to escape persecution and for economic opportunities. There have been three major waves of immigration during the colonist to revolution; 1) Seehardic Jews from Spain or Portugal (leave or convert) are the earliest wave of immigration 2) German Jews came to America between 19820 1880. There were around 150, 000 Jews in America at this time and many came to Charleston, Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore (along the eastern coast).
Jews have been in Columbia since the early 1800 s, but the first thing they didn t do was erect a synagogue. Jews were mainly home worshippers. It was very important for them to establish a cemetery and then a school in the 1840 s. The Jews had established a Sunday School Program to educate youth in the faith and it was such a great success, the community became very excited about it and eventually a Synagogue was built in 1846, although later destroyed by fire.
The Jews way of life is Judaism. Anyone who adheres to the Jewish message is a member of the people hood and the center of the people hood is GOD. Bonds are a connection of a Jew. Another interesting fact about the Jewish Synagogue was the Arch is no longer in the Covenant, it is now kept in the Synagogue. The leader of the congregation is a Rebbe. In order to be ordained as a Rebbe, one must obtain a four year degree.
The Rebbe must be endorsed by another Rebbe and have completed five years of work in the Seminary. He must learn or be familiar with the Hebrew language and complete two years of theology, history and philosophy. He must learn the Law Codes of the Touch which take three to four years of study. The speaker said, to keep a Jewish home you must keep a Jewish calendar. The Lunar Calendar is living testimony to the ancient world. Jew and Muslims obey the original calendar.
Passover- is the most celebrated festival of the Spring, Rosh Kodak- workday for men / women to refrained from heavy work, Yom Kuppur the 10 th day of Rosh Hashanah when God releases us from vowels made under pressure are to name a few. By keeping many of the practices and traditions of the Jewish faith the movement of Judaism will be around for a very long time. GREEK ORTHODOX METHODIST CHURCH There were a couple of things I noticed right away in the church was; 1) the beautiful artistry 2) and the interesting artifacts displayed throughout the sanctuary. Father Aris has been a priest for this church for the past two years. He talked a lot about the early beginnings of the church and explained why it look the way it did.
The birthdate of the church is the day of Pentecost (50 days Reception of the Law). In 33 AD within 33 centuries five churches began. Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Rome and New Roman Constantinople. The Greek says there is no such thing as denominations. There was a splitting of the Empire (Great Schism). Old Rome struggled with Western versus Eastern Roman Empire and Constantinople had to keep the peace.
For one thousand years there was one church, Catholic. The Greek Orthodox Church practice early church traditions by keeping the physical appearance of the church as well as the traditions. Icons are used as fundamental teaching tools and the paintings are quite unique. Sacraments of the church represent seven special events; 1) baptisms, 2) confirmation (when baptized) 3) communion, 4) holy oil, 5) confession, 6) matrimony and 7) holy water. The role of women in the Greek Orthodox Church is deaconess s.
They can visit women where men normally don t go. There are no women priests or bishops. The church do recognize marriages when one is and one is not in the faith. MORMON FAITH This visit was most interesting due to information expected and information received. We know how this movement begun with the founder Joseph Smith, Jr. and all the negative images the media has painted and even today it is misunderstood.
I have no reason to doubt the 60 Minutes segment, shown on primetime television, is what the people of the Mormon faith is about today. It was quite interesting that the President acknowledged the rumors and made no excuses for things that have gone wrong in the past. He simply states what the church is doing today. The fact that there are 10 million members of this faith, 50 thousand missionaries worldwide, says that they are definitely on the move.
Their congregations are called, Wards. Geographically, the Mormons are involved in the Ward closest in proximity. There are no symbols of Christianity in the Wards such as a cross or pictures of Jesus, Although, they believe in a supreme being. There are several auxiliaries in the ward where the women work together and the men meet separately from the women to handle business. The church is built in a very functional way allowing them to utilize every inch of the building. The women are not encouraged to be in leadership positions, but if it is their desire to do so they can.
Since the church is a strong believer in families, services are designed where members can enjoy fellow shipping and they do. However, the services take place early enough in the day allowing families to spend quality time together. The young men of the church are encouraged to become missionaries and devote two years of their time in the field. It is considered a great honor. The leader of the ward is not paid a salary and the churches are built and paid for by the organization. The members pay tithes which are collected and sent to the headquarters and love offering stay in the church.
The Mormon economic system seem to work for the church in terms of mortgage free buildings and the women s society offering a helping hand whenever necessary. This allows the members to depend on each other and not so much on a governmental structured system (welfare). MUSLIM MOSQUE After my visit to the Mosque I learned that there was a difference in Islam believers and Muslim believers. The clarification of the two made me understand what was once so confusing. This particular religion was most interesting because of the women s role in the church. We all are convicted through faith in a supreme being to the believe the way we like, however, the woman s role seem very much to me too submissive.
This particular religion in many ways is cut and dry. If you do not following the teachings of Islam, than you are not a true believer. Although, God forgives you, your place is to seek his forgiveness and follow the practice of Islam. There is no trinity in this faith, only Allah and of course his prophet, Muhammad, because to deny one prophet is to deny all the prophets. The Muslims explained what the role of a Shak is; one that is very knowledgeable within the faith and delivers a religious verdict. He is known as the old man, older man, or professional in religious matters.
He leads the people in the worship ceremonies. Education is acceptable in by all means. Although, the woman s place is in the home, she is definitely not deprived of higher education. She is encouraged to care for her children and raise them in a nurturing environment, but her studies are important as well. The children are expected to be cared for and to prevent mainstream problems such as teen pregnancy, fornication and other problems dealing with sex, the families keep the males and females separate throughout courtship.
The teens are encourage to marry within the faith, no outside marriages are allowed. They are forbidden to listen to secular music and it is a practice to be in the world but not a part of the world. Celebrations are important within the faith and the calendar is important very much like the Jewish Calendar. Muslims look at a day from sundown to sunset and believe in the month of Ramadan (fasting). The Muslims in America who have been raised in traditional Muslim cultures speak of the tension they experience in trying to remain close to their native tongue, cultural, ethnic, and religious roots while trying to develop a sense of belonging in their adopted home.
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