Judaism: Festivals And Traditional Practices

Aside from views and beliefs, different religions across the world differ mainly on practices and traditional celebrations. If you tell someone that you are a ‘religious’ person, the first thing that will come to one’s mind is that you follow your religion’s practices, according to how should they be done and how frequent should they be accomplished.

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Etiquettes To Remember Before Going To A Jewish Home

 

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Visiting a non-observant Jewish friend at home can be no different to going to anyone else’s place. You can come in with your shoes on, have your pets roaming around the house, and drink alcoholic beverages until everyone can neither see nor think straight. The dress code isn’t so relevant as well; unless they have a formal party happening, then it’s OK to be in casual clothes and hang out there for hours on end.

With an observant Jew, meanwhile, you need to become extra mindful of your actions. The last thing you want is to 1) make a fool out of yourself and 2) disrespect them in a way you never intend to at all. So, to prevent any disaster, remember the following before going to a Jewish home:

 

 

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Wear Non-Revealing Clothes

The first etiquette to keep in mind is that you need to don garments that don’t show too much skin. It’s misleading to tell you to wear “decent” clothes because sleeveless tops and shorts can go under that category. To stay on the safe side, therefore, have pants and long sleeves ready.

 

Take Gifts With You

Coming a Jew’s place with a gift is great. You may bring items they can use around the house, such as dinnerware, vases, or even soaps. What you shouldn’t carry, however, is alcohol, particularly if you’re unsure whether they drink or not. Most don’t – be aware of that.

 

Never Take Homemade Dishes

This advice is highly essential for non-Jewish folks who may not have a kosher kitchen. Though your hosts won’t tell you to go away, they’ll probably not be able to eat the food or serve it with the ones they cooked.

 

Avoid Bringing Gadgets OR Flowers

Mobile devices are no-no’s since they stop you from having a real conversation with the people around you. Flowers, especially the fresh ones, look and smell lovely, yet the fact that they’re cut plants means they are products of a Sabbath work violation.

 

Don’t Dig In Immediately

Food is very sacred, but so is the blessings that come with it. The people living in that residence may think you’re disrespectful by sitting down stat in the dining area. No, you should pray with them first, and then dig in when they do.

 

Stay Silent After Washing Hands

The act of handwashing is an absolute must when you go to a Jewish house. The best thing to do is to keep your silence until everyone else starts talking.

“Beginning with God’s mandate, in Exodus, that Aaron and his sons wash their hands (and their feet) before they enter the Tabernacle, “lest they die,” Jews have been washing their hands,” Miriam Z. Wahrman, Ph.D. explains.

Be Open To Wearing A Kippah

Kippah is a round head covering that some Jews want to wear during meals because, as mentioned earlier, there are prayers in between eating too. The host may ask their guests to put on one – even the women and people of other religions – so try to become open-minded about it.

Richard Rabkin, MD, shares what a Kippah means to him, “It is a statement to myself and to others of my commitment t o Judaism and the Jewish people.”

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Sing-Along With Everyone

A Jewish gathering will never be complete without a lot of songs. They may invite you to sing along, and it’s alright to hum if you just heard the tunes for the first time. What matters is that you’re at the moment and they feel you’re with them. “Singing is always present in Judaism, in the synagogue of course, but also at home,” Hervé Roten, Ph.D. explains.

Jewish Style Of Parenting – Part 2

This is Part 2 of the blog about Jewish parenting styles that will make teens ready for their adult life.

Avoiding Unnecessary Punishment

The teachings of the Torah will guide us also with regards to the proper way of doing punishments our children. While it is commendable to correct one’s ill behavior, it is still needed to be done with utmost care. “The most effective way to teach kids is our modeling, and to treat them the way we want them to treat others: with compassion and understanding,” Laura Markham Ph.D. says. There should be a detachment of negative feelings when you are punishing because the primary purpose is to correct the attitude and not to hate the person. The most effective way of reprimanding teenagers should come from the heart. Remember, it is criticizing the behavior, and not him as an individual.

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Jewish Style Of Parenting – Part 1

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The Bible tells us of many teachings regarding children, particularly young adults, who depart from their homes. In modern times, Jewish teens are generally having a hard time even in the process of just planning to leave. This usually occurs during the ages of fifteen to nineteen when teens are conflicted of their freedom – to be independent or not to be? (It is the season of bar or bat mitzvah.) It can also be deemed that the attached rollercoaster of emotions to it (which will minimize in the later years.)

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Basic Facts And Beliefs Of Judaism

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Judaism is a monotheistic religious belief of the Jewish people which goes a long way back and originated when God made a covenant with Abraham, Moses and other Hebrew prophets. As times have changed, the Jewish people have gone through adaptability when it comes to their religion and culture. However, their beliefs remain the same. What is Judaism about and how did it start?

 

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Alleviate Your Worries, The Torah Way – Part 2

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In continuation of the blog from last week, here is Part 2. We move on with Joseph’s life experiences in dealing with anxiety.

The story about one of many Joseph’s life experiences on anxiety was when he got stuck in a ditch without water. There was not water because it was unfilled. All he needed to do was find water to fill it, but it turns out that it is also full of filthy creatures like snakes and scorpions.

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Alleviate Your Worries – The Torah Way Part 1

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We face the world fighting our own internal and external battles. We have our intrinsic personal conflicts. It can be related to our everyday struggles such as jobs, human connections, aspirations, strive for bliss, and other individual musings. Undoubtedly, the world that we walked upon yields high levels of pressure, aggravated by stress and external factors. These factors will lead us to the formation of ANXIETY.

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Counseling Meditation Practices

Do you want to learn some meditation techniques from counselors themselves? What strategies can you apply in your sessions? Read to learn more about this strategy here:

Meditation Technique

More therapists are now including specific meditation technique in their patients’ treatment plans. Engaging in regular meditation offers relaxation and heightened awareness in this chaotic world. But what people don’t know is that not all types of meditating technique can be useful. Even if there is no “right way” of meditation, you still have to explore the different forms until you find the perfect fit for your personality and lifestyle.

Techniques in Meditation

Progressive Relaxation Technique

Progressive relaxation technique, also called body scan, is a type of meditation technique which enables individuals to touch their bodies and search areas for tension. The goal is to know these spots so the stress in these areas can be released. “Practicing PMR [Progressive muscle relaxation] helps reduce tension and stress, and will help you relax when you feel anxious,” Jon Reeves, Ph.D. added.

To start the body scan, therapists begin at the feet of their client and work towards the top until they reach the head. Some require their patients to alternately relax and tense their muscles so that they can slowly release the stresses and tension inside their body. Other people also use this exercise to calm themselves down and help them sleep.

Medicating points
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Meditation Technique Tip

Guided Imagery Meditation (Focused Relaxation)

This meditation technique require the therapist to encourage his or her client to visualize objects or scenarios which please them to meditate. However, for this meditation technique to work, the therapist should first know the history, lifestyle, behavior, and personality of their client, so that he or she will know which images to focus on.

For example, the therapist will ask the patient to visualize a beach on a sunny day. From here, he or she can conjure the sense of touch by asking what the sand feels like on the body or how hot the sun is.

Once this exercise begins, the therapist should observe the transition signs of contentment from the client. This change can be in the form of a change in voice tone, posture, or facial expression in the meditation technique.

Bolette Daniels Beck, PhD and collaborators, discuss the findings in the study they conducted, “The results indicate that GIM [Guided Imagery and Music] is a promising treatment for work-related chronic stress, and further studies are recommended.”

Meditation Technique Tip: Breathing as a Meditation Technique

Simple Breath Awareness Method

It is one of the meditation technique that revolves around mindful breathing. Therapists guide their clients in breathing deeply and slowly while counting their breaths. The goal of these meditation technique is for them to reach the state of mind where their focus is only on their breathing instead of entertaining other thoughts. “Mindful breath awareness involves paying attention to the breath and observing thoughts, feelings, sensations and other experiences that arise without becoming fixated on them,” Grace Bullock Ph.D. added.

Breath awareness meditation technique has many benefits. These include reduced anxiety, better emotional stability, and improved concentration.

Hypnosis Techniques as a Meditation Technique

Hypnosis

Hypnosis is almost similar to that of guided imagery. However, instead of using sensory engagement, hypnosis uses verbal suggestions. The process starts with the therapist leading the client into a hypnotic trance. This is considered one of the meditation technique that holds trance as an intense phase of relaxation. Once they reach this stage, the client receives specific and goal-oriented suggestions which can help them change behaviors, adopt new habits, and improve their mindset.

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For example, a client is having a difficult time quitting smoking. What the therapist can do is put the client into the said hypnotic trance and suggest that this habit is no longer healthy and enjoyable. He or she can also plant the idea that whenever the client sees or touches a cigarette, the desire to smoke disappears.

Zen Meditation and Techniques

Zen Meditation

Zen meditation or Zazen Technique is a type of meditation technique which is part of the practices of Buddhism. A critical aspect of this exercise is the presence of a teacher or a coach since this involves specific steps and postures.

The goal of Zen meditation technique is to come up with the most comfortable position, focus on the breathing, and erase other thoughts circling in your mind. Most people would think that this is a simple meditation technique, but what’s difficult with it is finding the position which you can bear for several hours. Hence, Zen meditation technique requires focus and practice.

Meditation Technique in Yoga

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is perhaps the most complicated meditation technique. This meditation technique requires a physically active process combined with deep breathing and mantras. These technical mantras are pre-determined mantras, whose goal is to improve the mental health of the patient and put additional positive reinforcement to his or her mind. Some individuals compare Kundalini to the typical yoga minus the mantras.

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Notes on Meditation and Techniques

Meditation Technique

Final Thoughts And Insights

Aside from these six meditation techniques, there is still a dozen more meditation technique out there. It only shows how meditation is not as simple as everyone thinks. Meditation requires patience, practice, and focus to achieve mastery.

Regular meditation technique prompts a whole-body relaxation response. Meditation technique relaxes muscles, lowers blood pressure, slows breathing and heart rate, and focuses the mind. Aside from these, meditation techniques also helps clients manage their emotions well, which enables them to make better decisions in their lives.

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Why Psychologists Believe In The Jewish Parental Rules

Parenting differs in approach and consistency. That is because it considers the experience, gender, traits, culture, and beliefs of both children and parents. However, regardless of the difference in those certain aspects, all parents dream of wanting their child to become self-aware, obedient, intelligent, and ethical values. That explains why there are tons of tips and tricks on kids’ upbringing in different parts of the world. Psychologists and other experts agree that there is no particular rule book when raising kids. “A parent’s style is important. But it’s just one influence of many,” Gwen Dewar, Ph.D. points out. However, one that gets into their attention is Jewish parenting traits.

Most Jewish parents do not resort to any parental forums or internet blogs when it comes to raising their kids. Usually, they apply the traditional behavioral-focused methods that they believe somehow do the trick. Let’s take a look at those parental principles that Jewish parents incorporate in kids’ upbringing.

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Reward Independence

In an ordinary family, there is this mentality that children only succeed in life when they believe they can do anything. Parents support their children’s decisions and actions, especially if those things show results valuable for future use. However, the whole idea of support does not limit to taking care of some of the things the children can’t handle. Therefore, parents are sometimes on-hand in that. But in Jewish parenting, there is a focus on independence where children must do things on their own. That is, regardless of age and social status. As long the kids are physically capable, their parents allow them to do anything. There is a limit of convenience as per se.

Mark Steinberg, Ph.D. reminds that, “Your role as a parent of an adult child changes dramatically as he or she emerges into young adulthood and what should be independence. ”

Trust Is A Reward

In Jewish parenting style, trust is the best reward children can have from their parents. The kids’ endeavors do not get rewarded by candies, objects, or any other things that fulfill their desire. But instead, they get to achieve trust, which allows them to do tasks and make decisions on their own. It is a type of reward that brings forward self-awareness and self-worth to the kids. Jewish parents believe that by making kids value trust; they will become more likely capable of handling even the most challenging environmental, psychological, emotional, and social issues they may encounter.

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Getting Dirty Is Fine

If in case you didn’t notice, a lot of parents don’t want their kids to look awful and dirty. Most of them immediately clean and wash the kids’ dirt off. Perhaps that is a common parenting practice because nobody wants their kids to have any kinds of diseases and viruses from filth. However, in Jewish parenting, kids are allowed to get dirty. Children often appear to be covered with dirt, knees are dusty, and their hands are sticky, and so on. That is because Jewish parents find the outer cleanliness useless to a child’s development, growth, and wisdom.

Acceptance Of Untidiness

When talking about how kids’ can become tidy at all times, parents take the credit. It means that children are well-taught about the importance of keeping everything clean and organized. However, in a Jewish parenting style, it is different. Jewish parents don’t care if the kids are messy and untidy. They don’t bother whether their whole surrounding is chaos. They believe that kids should be allowed to spill everything and knock things over. These Jewish parents allow their kids to live in a surrounding they feel comfortable with even if it is not something that society would agree. But take note, they will still explain why tidiness is essential for them in future use.

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Wise Freedom

Indeed Jewish kids are allowed to do many things on their own. However, the one thing they are not permitted to do is disrespecting the family. No matter what the situation is, the children must never do things that will make their parents upset. Aside from getting a much harsher punishment, the kids’ may also get validated disapprovals. Unlike in a typical family situation where kids get exempted from doing unintentional harm, Jewish parents take action precariously. That is the reason they always make sure that once children can understand rules, they are asked to follow them.

“When you give children the tools they need to figure things out on their own, they will behave better because they’ll be better equipped to take care of themselves and won’t come screaming to you or act out every time they encounter a challenge,” says Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

Some parents may or may not agree with the Jewish parenting style. But for those people who understand, they will notice a positive side of all the traits.