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Questions About Jews

Have you ever seen those videos where celebrities are asked the most asked Google questions about them? These are the questions that people as about Jews. Here are some of the answer to some of the most asked questions about Jews.

Can Jews drink alcohol?

Yes, Jews are not only allowed to drink alcohol. A blessing over wine is an integral part of many Jewish holidays including Shabbat (the Sabbath). During the Passover seder, we say a blessing and drink four glasses of wine. One of the traditions for the holiday of Purim is to become so drunk that you can’t tell the difference between the hero or villain in the Purim story. For those who do not drink alcohol, grape juice can be substituted for any of these traditions.

Do Jews celebrate birthdays?

Yes, Jews celebrate birthdays. Many Jews celebrate two birthdays. They celebrate their Jewish birthday as well as their secular birthday. Their Jewish birthday is their birthday as it falls on the Hebrew calendar.

Are rabbis allowed to marry?

Yes, rabbis are allowed to marry. Rabbis are Jewish people who have studied for many years to hold spiritual leadership positions in our congregations. Jews do not believe that rabbis are any closer to G-d than anyone else. The rules and expectations of rabbis are the same as every other Jew.

What can’t Jews eat?

According to the laws of kashrut (kosher), Jews are prohibited from eating pork and shellfish. They can also not combine dairy and meat in one meal and must leave time for digestion between the two. Check out What is Kosher? for more information.

Why do Jews touch the door?

Jews touch the door because there is a mezuzah on it. A mezuzah is a decorative case that houses a scroll with verses from the Torah in it. Specifically, Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and 11:13–21. These verses state that we are to have a reminder of our covenant to G-d on the doorposts of our house. Jews kiss their hand and then place it on the mezuzah when entering a home.

Why do Jews cover mirrors?

Jews cover mirrors when they are in mourning for the death of a loved one. You may see that after a funeral at a shiva house. The reason for covering the mirrors is because those who are in mourning are not supposed to be concerned with their appearance while they are in mourning.

Is the Torah in Yiddish or Hebrew?

The Torah is written in ancient Hebrew. Torah scrolls themselves are all handwritten on parchment. They have been identically copied through the generations.

What does Shalom mean?

Shalom means hello and peace in Hebrew.

What language is the Bible written in?

The Old Testament of the Bible was originally written in Hebrew. It continues to be a holy text in the Jewish community and is read, translated, and interpreted based on the original Hebrew. Christians have also translated this text, though their interpretations often vary greatly from the Jewish understanding.

Does Torah come in English?

There are many English translations of the Torah. However, Torah scrolls will always be written in the original Hebrew language.

Do you have any questions about Jews that should be added to the list?

Interested in learning more about Judaism? Check out these other posts and videos:

Torah: The Basics

Rosh Hashanah: The Basics

Days of Awe: The Work of T’Shuvah / Jewish Forgiveness

Yom Kippur: The Basics

What is Tu Bishvat?

Hanukkah: The Basics

Purim: The Basics

Passover: The Basics

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