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Judaism – RE Short Course Revision – Religious Studies

This article will contain revision material to help you with Religious Studies. The post will go through everything you need to know about Judaism from synagogues, rabbis, covenants, Jewish groups and circumcision,. Feel free to scroll to the sections most relevant to you.

The Synagogue is a a building where Jewish assembly or congregation meets for religious observance and instruction.
Here is a birds eye view of the design of a synagogue:

In the Synagogue you will find:

  • Seats – a place to sit the synagogue.
  • Ark – a wardrobe where the Torah is kept. This is important as it helps preserve the Torah so it lasts longer. Furthermore, by decorating the ark, it gives respect and importance to the Torah.
  • Bimah – the Rabbi stands here to read out of the Torah. This is important as it is a central place where all the Jews can hear the Rabbi reading the Torah. Going on, as the bimah is raised from the ground, everyone can see the Torah and Rabbi which shows how important the Torah is.
  • Rabbi – the person who reads out of the Torah on the bimah. The Rabbi is very important as without him, no-one can read the Torah and it’s teachings. He’s the ‘middle man’ that transfers the teaching from the Torah to it’s listeners.
  • Torah – like the bible but for Jews. Rabbi reads the teachings of G-d from the Torah to it’s listeners. This is very important as without it, there are no teachings or rules to follow.

Covenant and Messiah 
As you will already know, a contract is a deal where you agree to signing an arrangement that may last for a period of time. A covenant is a contract that has been sealed with G-d’s love which is un-breakable. G-d will never break his promise.

The Messiah
The Jews believe in the future, a Messiah will be sent down from G-d to bring peace to all living creatures. There is some controversy that Jews don’t believe Jesus was the real Messiah and are therefore still waiting for the Messiah to come. The existing conditions are only temporary. The Messiah will bring peace to all humans and animals living.

The Messiah means a great lot to Jews. The Messiah (Mashiach) will bring peace all over the world, when humans and animals will not harm one another and when G-d’s presence will be felt by everyone. Although there have been at least a dozen false Messiah’s throughout history, Jews still wait for the true Messiah and pray daily for his coming.

“The Messiah will be a future leader for the Jews who will bring for-reaching changes to the world”

“Behold, days are coming”, says the Lord”…When no person will need to teach another…saying, “know the Lord”, for they will all know me…”

Orthodox and Reformed Jews
There have been many changes since 1880-Now. Pork and shellfish are not allowed to be eaten in the Jewish life in 1880 maybe due to hygiene that pork and shellfish go off quickly. But now, hygiene is fine and the reformed Jews have stopped the rule while orthodox Jews have kept the rule to be original and special. There are also many different rules for orthodox men and women compared to reformed men and women. The men have more rules regarding community while the women have more rules regarding the home. Reformed men and women do exactly the same: both in the actual synagogue service (unlike the orthodox) and in the governing of the community. But, the most important thing all Jews have in common is that they share the belief in one G-d.


  • Sandele – man who holds the baby during circumcision (it is a big honour to do this and is usually the grandfather).
  • Circumcision is a sign of the relationship Jewish people hold with G-d (covenant).
  • Throne of Elijah – important aspect of the ceremony.
  • Mohel – person who performs the circumcision.
  • Minyan – the group of 10 male witnesses.
  • Halachah

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