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Rituals and Worship



Sacred Time

Judaism distinguishes between two essentially different forms of time: kodesh (holy) and chol (mundane). Jews consecrate the seventh day of the week, or Shabbat, as the epitome of sacred time. The Jewish calendar is replete with a rich array of festivals, most of which commemorate events in ancient Israelite history.

Sacred Space

Observant Jews worship three times a day, throughout the year. While these daily services may be performed privately, the most important Shabbat and festival prayers are ideally, and most commonly, observed in public services, conducted by clergy in synagogues or temples.

Rites and Ceremonies

Judaism places a central emphasis in serving God on faithful adherence to a vast and complex system of biblical commandments, known as mitvot. This system of Jewish law, collectively known as halakha, is based on the rabbis' extensive legal exegesis of the Torah's 613 laws.

Worship and Devotion in Daily Life

Jews seek constantly to remind themselves of God's presence in their lives through an elaborate system of daily prayers, benedictions for all occasions, no matter how ostensibly mundane, and a host of religious rituals.

Symbolism

Judaism vigilantly avoids the use of any symbolic representation in worship, especially of humanlike figures. At the same time, there are a small number of prominent symbols that are prominently displayed in many synagogues and other Jewish institutions.

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