When a young boy reaches the age of thirteen he is termed a bar mitzvah, which literally means a son of commandments or son of good deeds. For girls the term is bat mitzvah. It is at this age that the child is considered old enough to start taking part in the worship service. According to Jewish custom the parents are accountable before God for the actions of the child up to this time. But at the age of 13 children are considered old enough to answer for themselves before God in the Day of Judgment.
Kiddush is from the Hebrew word for holy or sanctify, to set apart as holy. God set the Sabbath apart as holy. Saying the kiddush on Friday evening dates back about 2,500 years.
Shabbat candles are traditionally lit before the Shabbat has begun. Generally, the woman of the home lights the candles and says the candle blessing with her head covered. At least two candles are used, one for the person saying the blessing and one for God. Some families will have a candle for each member of the family.
Havdallah means “separation” and is a service used to separate the holiness of the Sabbath from the rest of the week. It separates the day that God blessed from the regular workdays of the week. It is also a reminder to us that there is a difference between the holy and the secular. That would include time such as the difference between the Sabbath and the rest of the week, but also the difference between kinds of activities such as the difference between worship and work.
The word “kosher” literally means “proper.” When kosher is used to describe food it refers to those foods that are proper to eat. The Bible outlines biblically kosher foods. Biblically kosher foods are described in Leviticus chapter 11.
It is often said of Judaism that it is less a faith than it is a way of life. For Judaism enters into all aspects of our life. This is seen best in the numerous blessings which are said on different occasions. Among the blessings listed in the Siddur (the daily and Sabbath prayer book) will be found those on waking in the morning, for putting on a new garment, for seeing a rainbow, washing ones hands, eating various foods, etc as well as those said when we fulfil a commandment. Talmudic Rabbis said that it was forbidden to enjoy such things without saying a blessing. Many of the blessings used today date back to the 3rd and 4th centuries CE and can be found in the Talmud in tractate Berachot.
Sha'atnez is the term used for clothing made with a mixture of wool and linen fibres. This mixture is clearly forbidden in two places in the Torah. In Deuteronomy it states: You shall not sow your vineyard with different seeds (Kila'im); lest the fruit of your seed which you have sown, and the fruit of your vineyard, be defiled.. You shall not plough with an ox and an ass together. You shall not wear a garment of different sorts (Sha'atnez) , like wool and linen together.1.
Orthodox believe that at Mount Sinai, God gave to Moses not only the written Torah but also oral interpretations and laws as well. They believe that these oral laws were faithfully passed down through centuries and finally they were written down in the Mishnah and Talmud. So the Rabbinic laws and statements that were recorded have divine authority. They accept without questioning Rabbinic statements like "Moses received Torah on Sinai, and handed it on to Joshua, and Joshua to the elders, and the elders to the prophets, and the prophets handed it on to the men of the Great Assembly." (Avot 1, 1.)