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Comparative Religion

The Impact of Culture and Cultures Upon Jewish Customs and by Simcha Fishbane

By Simcha Fishbane

This e-book discusses the advance of practices linked to customs and artifacts utilized in Jewish ceremonies whilst seen from the vantage of anthropological stories. it could actually additionally functionality as a advisor to sensible halakhah. the writer examines themes reminiscent of Torah Scrolls, ceremonial use of fireside, Purim customs, the competition of Shavuot, magic and superstition. This research, from time to time, compares a few Jewish observances with the broader cultural observances or notions of the wider, gentile societies within which Jews have been situated while those customs originated. it's came upon that the time and placement of a practice’s beginning is usually severe to appreciating a shared context. In all situations the Jewish perform turns into reinterpreted inside of a in particular Jewish narrative and felony constitution.

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V. hova, Rosh BT Shabbat 25b, Rashba Shabbat 23b. B. When the home is illuminated for Shabbat, it creates delight. These views are summarized in Schreiber, 2004, p. 89 notes 6 and 8. 69 Kavod or honoring Shabbat can also be viewed from two alternate approaches. A. Illumination of the home invests the Sabbath meal with importance. v. hova. B. To have light in one’s home simply honors the Sabbath. See for example Maimonides Hilkhot Shabbat 30:15, Yereim, no. 429, Semag Positive commandment no. 30.

The Nature of the Practice to Light Sabbath Lights From the discussion above, we learn that in the early rabbinic documents the reason for the obligation to light Sabbath candles can be categorized as either oneg—enjoying Shabbat (as explicitly stated in Midrash Tanhuma),68 shalom bayit—tranquility in the home (as stated in BT Shabbat 25b), or kavod Shabbat—honoring Shabbat69 (as quoted above in BT Pesahim 53b). Some of the Rishonim express an alternate understanding of the earlier rabbinic texts.

87 Furthermore, the Midrash Tanhuma, similar to the Midrash Rabba quoted above, writes: Teach us, our Master: For how many transgressions do women die in childbirth? So do our Rabbis teach: For three transgressions etc. ” (Leviticus 15:25); for not separating hallah, as it is written, “The first of your dough” (Numbers 15:20); for not lighting the Shabbat lamp, as it states, “and you proclaim Shabbat a delight” (Isaiah 58:13)—this refers to lighting the Sabbath lamp. If you will say let us sit in darkness that cannot be considered a delight.

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