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The Jewish religion ethically presented online

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12. Take heed to thyself and keep thy soul diligently
Deut. iv, 9.

13. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created
these things, that bringeth out their host by number: He calleth
them all by names, by the greatness of His might and that He
is strong in power; not one faileth. Isa. xl, 26.

14. I am unworthy of the least of all the kindnesses and the
truth which Thou hast done for Thy servant. Gen. xxxii, 10.

19. O Lord, how manifold are Thy works ! In wisdom hast
Thou made them all ; the Earth is full of Thy possessions.
Psalm civ, 24.

20. O give tharks unto the Lord, for He is good, for His
loving kindness endureth for ever. Psalm cxxxvi, I.

21. Hear my prayer, O God. Psalm liv, 2.




Sixth verse of the Shema' : And thou shalt bind them
for a sign upon thy hand and they shll be as frontlets be-
tween thine eyes.

1. We are to bind the words "And them shalt love
the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul
and with all thy might" upon our hands and between
our eyes.

2. This means that love for God must influence
what we do with our hands and what we think with
our brains.

3. Frontlets, in ancient times, were ornaments worn
upon the forehead.

4. This and the last verse together teach us that
our love for God must make us speak, do, and think what
is right.

*5. Wearing the Shema', etc., as a frontlet thus be-
comes a reminder of Right Conduct through love of

6. This verse is the origin of the use of the Te-
phillin or phylacteries.

7. The Tephillin contain four sections of the Law,
which set forth all that is dear and holy in the Jewish
Religion. See chapter xlvii, No. 9 (Part II).

8. They are worn, therefore, because of what they
teach and because of their influence when rightly un-
derstood, rpon conduct, just as the High Priest wore
on his forehead the inscription "Holy to the Lord," to
teach holiness as the ideal of human conduct.

0- Hence' the ancient meditation, recited when
about to wear Tophillin, "Through the influence of this
command, the Tepliillin, may we be blessed with sacred
impulses and hallowing thoughts, with no thought of sin


or iniquity. May evil imagination have no power to
allure us and lead us astray, but may we be led to
worship the Lord as it is in our hearts to do."


2. God cometh to prove you, and in order that His fear
may be before your eyes, that ye sin not. Exod. xx, 20.

4. For thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy
God, to keep all His commandments which I command thee this
day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord. Deut.
xiii, 18.

Keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips from speaking guile.
Psalm xxxiv, 13.

I will meditate upon Thy precepts, and I will discern Thy
ways. Psalm cxix, 15.

May my heart be perfect in Thy statues, so that I be not
shamed. Psalm cxix, 80.

Lead me O Lord, in Thy righteousness. Psalm v, 8.

Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk. Psalm
cxliii, 8.



Seventh verse of the Shema' : And thou shalt write
them on the door-posts of thy house and upon thy gates.

1. We are to write the words "And thou shalt love
the Lord thy God,' etc., on the door-posts of our homes
to remind us that love for God must govern our conduct
to those who are therein and must direct our own private

2. We prove our love for God, therefore, by hon-
oring our parents, by respecting the aged, by attention
to our teachers, by kindness to brothers and sisters, by
helping the poor who come to us, by consideration for
our servants, in accordance with His commands, for we
meet all these in our homes.


3. To write the words on our gates means that love
for God must guide us in public life.

4. In ancient times many public duties were per-
formed in the space near the gates of the city. "In the
gates" means the public place.

5. The command means that in all our business
as men and women, and in all our duties as citizens, we
must do the right, out of love for God who so com-
mands us.

*6. Writing these words "on the door-posts of our
houses" is the origin of the custom of the Mezuzah.

7. Mezuzah is the Hebrew word for door-post-
The word is used to mean the little scroll on which the
first and second portions of the Shema' are written.
The scroll is enclosed in a case which is fastened to the

8. Shaddai, meaning Almighty, one of the names
of God, is written on the outside, to remind us as we
enter or leave the house, that God is all-mighty, and
therefore we must trust in His protection.

9. Just as a flag over a house shows the loyalty
of its inmates to their country, so a Mezuzah on the door-
post of a house shows the loyalty of the inmates to
God and to their religion.

10. The object of the Meznzah is thus further ex-
pressed: ''When we enter or leave the house, let us
remember God and His love ; let us be roused from
the vanities of the world and realize that nought is
stable save the knowledge of the Rock of the Universe.
We will at once turn to that knowledge of Him and
we will walk in the ways of uprightness." (Maimonides).


2. Honor thy father and thy mother. Deut. v, 16.

Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head and thou shalt
honor the old. Lev. xix, 32.

Ask thy father and he will shew thee, thine elders and they
will tell thee. Deut. xxxii, 7.


Hear me now therefore, O ye children Lest thou

sayest, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised re-
proof, and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor in-
clined mine ear to them that instructed me. Prov. v, 7, ia, 13.

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart. Lcvit. xix, 17.

Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy
poor, and to thy needy in thy land. Deut. xv, u.

Thou shalt not oppress a hired servant that is poor and
needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that
are in thy land within thy gates. Deut. xxiv, 14.

5. Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one
to another. Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor, neither rob
him. Lev. xix, 11-13.

Righteousness, righteousness, shalt thou pursue. Deut.
xvi, 20.

Thou shalt not raise a false report. Exod. xxiii, I.

Help not the wicked, to be a witness of violence. Exod.
xxiii, i.

Follow not the multitude to do evil. Exod. xxiii, 2.

Speak not for a contest to turn after many to wrest right.
Exod. xxiii, 2.



The Second Section of the Shema'.

*i. The second section of the Shema' is from Deu-
teronomy xi, 13-22. (See Appendix II.)

2- It teaches us that God rewards us if we love
and serve Him with all our heart and soul, but that we
must suffer if we turn away from Him.

3. We often notice that the righteous have sor-
row and that the wicked are prosperous. God is the
Judge and He is a righteous Judge. Therefore we may
be sure that if reward for righteousness and the penalty
for wrong-doing be not given by Him in this life, it will
be given in the future life.

4. Hence this second section of the Shema' re-
minds us of Future Life.


5. We sometimes call the belief in Future Life the
Doctrine of the Immortality of the Soul. (See chapters


2. Say ye to the righteous that it shall be well with him,
for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Woe unto the
wicked, it shall be ill with him, for the reward of his hands shall
be given him. Isa. iii, 10-11.

God will bring every work into judgment, whether it be
good or whether it be evil. Iiccles. xii, 14.

3. Many are the afflictions of the righteous ; but the Lord
delivereth him cut of them all. Psalm xxxiv, 19.

Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty
in power? Job xxi, 7.

Shall evil be recompensed for good? Jerem. xviii, 20.
God is the Judge. Psalm Ixxvii, 7.



The Third Section of the Shema'.

1. The third section of the Shema' is from Num-
bers xv, 37 to end. (See Appendix III.)

2. This section teaches us Obedience and Holiness.

3. It commands us to wear fringes in order to re-
mind us to perform all God's commands, and to be Holy
to the Lord our God.

4. It is not enough to remember God's commands.
We must perform them.

5. To be holy means to lead pure lives and there-
fore to avoid sin.

6. . Sin makes life impure or unholy.


7. The fringes are fastened to a small garment,
which is worn always, or to a special garment used dur-
ing prayer-

8. We wear the fringes (Tsitsith) to remind us
of our duty, just as a man wears his uniform or a woman
wears her wedding-ring.

*9- To be holy to the Lord our God, means also to
be holy for the Lord our God.

10. We must therefore not only be holy. We must
do what is holy, and we must speak what is holy for
His sake. We must be witnesses for the Holy God.

11. Therefore "to be holy" really means the con-
secration of ourselves, or our lives, for God's work or

12. We consecrate ourselves in our duty to God
and man when we ; stand for the right always.

13. The flag of our country calls upon us to make
every sacrifice for its honor and integrity, and to stand
for them at all times. The fringe calls upon us to make
every sacrifice for its honor and integrity, and to stand
for them at all times. The fringe calls upon us to make
every sacrifice for the honor and integrity of our religion,
and to stand for them always.

14- We consecrate ourselves and our lives in our
duty to God when we have the moral courage to per-
form our religious duties at all cost, and to stand for
God and the Right.

15. We consecrate ourselves and our lives in our
duty to our fellow beings when we have the moral
courage to speak out for what is right and pure, to
speak out against what is wrong and impure, and always
to do the right, cost what it may, in all our dealings with

16. We consecrate ourselves and our lives in our
duty to ourselves when we have the moral courage to
correct our own faults, to strive after high and noble
ideals, to withdraw from unworthy or wicked compan-
ionship, to persevere in the right, no matter how many
times we fail in our efforts to succeed, to scorn to make
a false excuse and refuse to tell a lie, to hate to say or
do anything mean.


17. Sin soils the soul. We cannot consecrate our-
selves to God if our souls are stained with sin, or if "we
go astray."

The lessons of the Tsitsith may therefore thus be
summed up: Impure thoughts defile the heart; impure
deeds defile the hands ; impure words defile the lips. Any
defilement is unholiness. We must be holy.

1 8. The ethical value of the Tsitsith is further in-
dicated in the ancient meditation recited before using it:
"Behold me enwrapping myself with the Tsitsith. O
so do Thou enwrap my soul and my body in the spiritual
light thereof."

19. The fringe is made in a special way to remind
us of the Lord:

20. In Hebrew all letters stand for numbers. The
letters in the word for "Lord," or in the phrase "the
Lord is one," thus make twenty-six or thirty-nine. A
thread is therefore wound round the fringe twenty-six
times by the Sephardic Jews, and thirty-nine times by
the Ashkenaz Jews, to remind us of the Lord, or that
He is One.

21. The Sephardic Jews are those descended from
the Jews of Spain, Portugal, South-France and all other
countries round the Mediterranean Sea.

22. All other Jews are called Ashkenaz Jews, and
include Germlans, Poles, Hungarians, Russians, Rou-
manians, etc.


3 And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look
upon it, and remember all the commandments of the Lord, and
do them, and that ye seek not after your own heart and your
own eyes after which ye go astray. Numbers xvi, .39.

4. That ye may remember and do all My commandments,
and be holy to your God. Numbers xv, 40.

5 For I am the Lord your God; ye shall therefore sanctify
yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy. Levit. xii, 44.

6. Wickedness destroys the wicked. Psalm xxxiv, 21.

9. Thou art My servant, O Israel, by whom I will be
glorified. Isa. xlix, 3.


10. Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, and My servants
whom I have chosen. Ka. xliii, 10.

This people have I formed for Myself ; they shall show
forth My praise. Isa. xliii, 21.

11. I, the Lord, have called thee in righteousness, and will
hold thine hand and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant
of the people, for a light for the Gentiles. Isa. xlii, 6.

12. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good
courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed; for the Lord
thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua i, 9.

Fear not, but let your hands be strong. Zech. viii, 13.

14. Ye are My witnesses that I am God. Isa. xliii, 12.
Who is on the Lord's side? Exod. xxxii, 26.

15. Wash from sin, purify, put away the evil of your doings
from before Mine eyes; cease to do evil. Isa. i, 16.

Learn to do well; seek judgment; relieve the oppressed,
judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Isa. i, 17.

16. I acknowledged my sin unto Thee and mine iniquity
have I not hid. I said I will confess my transgressions unto
the Lord, and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Psalm
xxxii, 5.

Seek ye Me, and live. Amos v, 4

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the
seat of the scornful. 1 Psalm i, I.

A just man may fall seven times but he riseth up again.
Prov. xxiv, 16.

He hath shown thee, O man. what is good. And what doth
the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah vi, 8.

These are the things that ye shall do; speak ye everyone the
truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace
in your gates. Zech. viii, 16.

Let no one of you imagine evil in your hearts against his
neighbor; and love no false oath: fpr these are things that I
hate, saith the Lord. Zech. viii, 17.

17. Ye shall not seek after your hearts and your eyes after
which ye go astray. Numbers xv, 39.




1. There are six " Assemblies of the Lord," or Holy
Convocations. They are usually called Holydays or Fes-

2. They are the Sabbath, the New Year and the
Day of Atonement, which are called Holydays, and
Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles, which are called

3. Holy Days and Festivals are days on which we
are to assemble for the worship of God and for instruc-
tion in holy duties.

4. All work is forbidden upon those days.

5. Amusements which fatigue the body or the mind,
or which are not in keeping with the holiness of the day,

must be avoided.


1. The Sabbath begins every Friday evening and
lasts until Saturday nightfall-

2. It is kept to remind us of creation and of our
deliverance from Egypt.

3. When God created this earth, He stored it with
everything necessary for our earthly wants: food, mate-
rial for raiment, beautiful views, forms and colors. And
He commanded work, because work is necessary for
our happiness.

4. But man has other than earthly wants. The true
man desires to know more and more about God and to
learn more and more how to please Him. That is, man
has spiritual wants besides material needs.


5. If we used every day for only our earthly plea-
sures, or to obtain only our earthly wants, we would
never have the opportunity to learn about God.

6. God therefore instituted the Sabbath, first, to
give us a regular day of rest from our usual worldly
work, and secondly, to give us a weekly opportunity for
learning about Him and what He desires from us.

7. Therefore on the Sabbath we abstain from all
work and devote part of the day to special worship in
private, or with our families, or preferably in a syna-
gogue or temple.

8. It is good to worship God and to learn about
Him and how we can best please Him every day. And
we must do so. But the Seventh Day is the Sabbath of
the Lord. On that day we should seek special instruc-
tion in the knowledge of God, the Creator, from men
able to give it.

*9. The Sabbath is named as the first of the "As-
sembly Days'' commanded by the Lord, thus implying
that we are to assemble on the Sabbath for sacred pur-

10. On other days of the week we cannot so well
assemble for public worship, because worldly duties, per-
mitted on those days, prevent us.

11. The Sabbath also reminds us of the deliverance
from Egypt. We were slaves there and the labor which
we had to perform was rigorous. It was hard bondage.
We can therefore appreciate a restful Sabbath.

12. We were delivered from Egypt in order to be
ministers of God among mankind ; that is, to teach man-
kind by our example, as well as by our Bible. Therefore,
on the Sabbath we devote time to learn about God and
Duty, and how to teach mankind the truths thereof. For
this reason we should listen to sermons on that day and
read the Bible or other religious literature,


13. On Sabbath Eve (Friday night), the mother
lights the Sabbath Lights. These are usually two, but
sometimes seven. The lighting of the lamps is a sign
of joy, the joy of Sabbath family-union, the joy of Sab-
bath evenings at home. It is the mother who can best
secure this joy and she can do so by praying that the
Light of God's countenance may bless all her loved ones
in her home, even as the father repeats these solemn
words, when on the Sabbath Eve, he blesses his children
with the blessing of God for Israel.

14- Besides blessing the children on Sabbath Eve,
the father, or head of the family, pronounces the Sab-
bath sanctification before the evening meal (see prayer
book), and he or one of the family should say aloud
"grace" or "blessing "after it.

15. On the Sabbath Day we should make every
effort to attend public worship.

16. In some synagogues and homes the close of
Sabbath is marked by the Havdalah, or "Division Cere-
mony," so called because it divides the Sabbath from the
working days.

17. The object of the ceremony is to consecrate
our five senses which will be used during the coming
working days, and to bless God for our possession of
each of them. Hence we pronounce a blessing over
wine or something to taste; we smell the spices; we feel
the heat of the light ; we see these things, and we hear the
words of benediction. Other explanations are also

18. We therefore begin and end the Sabbath just
as we keep the whole day itself we make it "a sign of
the relations between God and ourselves, that we may
"know that He is the Lord who consecrates us."

19. "It (the Sabbath) is holy for you" (Exod.
xxxi. 14) means also that it consecrates Israel. For
whoever observes the Sabbath testifies thereby to Crea-
tion and the Creator. He becomes a "witness for God"
(Isa. xliii. 10), and is therefore consecrated to His ser-
vice. See chapter xi. 9-16.


i. Speak unto the children of Israel, and tell them the
assemblies of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy Con-


vocations, these are they, My assemblies. Levit. xxiii, 2.

3. These are the assemblies of the Lord, even holy convo-
cations, which ye shall proclaim) in their seasons. Levit. xxiii, 4.

4. Ye shall do no work thereon. Levit. xxiii, 3, 7, 21, 27,
28, 31, 36.


2. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the
sea and all that in them is, and He ceased on the seventh day.
Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day and hallowed it.
Exod. xx, ii.

Remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt,
and that the Lord thy God brought thee out thence through a
mighty hand and a stretched-out arm ; therefore the Lord thy
God commanded thee to keep the Sabbath Day. Dent, v, 15.

3. And the Lord God took man and put him in the Garden
pf Eden to cultivate it and take care of it. Gen. ii, 15.

Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work. Exod. xx, 9.
,4. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God; when shall
I come and appear before God? Psalm xlii, 2.

6. Six days shalt thou do thy work, and on the seventh
day thou shalt rest ; that thine ox and thine ass may rest and
that the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger may be re-
freshed. . .

The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.
Exod. xx, 10.

7. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to
another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come
to worship before Me, saith the Lord. Isa. Ixvi, 23.

13. The blessing of Israel, or Jacob, our ancestor, is :

May God make thee like Ephraim and Manasseh.
Gen. xlviii, 20.

The blessing for Israel, our people, is:

May the Lord bless thee and preserve thee ;

May the Lord cause His countenance to shine upon thee
and be gracious unto thee;

May the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and
grant thee peace. Numbers vi, 24-26.

14. Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep; for it is a sign be-
tween Me and you throughout your generations, that ye may
know that I am the Lord who doth sanctify you. Exod.
xxxi, 13.

18, And the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to


observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, fof a perpetual
covenant. Between Me and the children of Israel it is a sign
for ever. Exod. xxxi, 16-1?,



1. The New Year is called in Hebrew Rosh

2. It is kept in memory of the creation of the
heavens and the earth.

3. When we behold the heavens with the countless
stars or worlds immensely larger than the earth upon
which we live, and remember that it was God who created
them, and that it is He who governs them, we are filled
with reverence for Him.

4. When we learn about the earth and find how
God has stored it with everything necessary for our
happiness, we cannot but love Him.

5. On each New Year we should resolve to prove
by our conduct that we do reverence and love Him.

*6. On the New Year Holyday we prepare to meet
our God.

7. We do this by examining our conduct during the
past year, and by firmly resolving to correct it wherever
it has been wrong.

8- When we have removed our sins from us by
sincere repentance and by sincere promise of amend-
ment, then we may confidently approach God in prayer,
or "meet Him," on the coming Day of Atonement.

9. The ten days from the New Year to the Day of
Atonement are called "the Ten Days of Penitence."


10. Our life during these days should be more
serious. We must repair any wrong we have committed,
and remove any cause of ill-feeling betw'een others and
ourselves. A father cannot be pleased when his children
are at variance. We are all children of our Father in

11. Rosh Hashana is not a festival. Therefore it
is not observed with festivities. It is one of the Holy
Days, or "Days of Awe" (Yamim Noraim).

12- It is sometimes called "Day of Judgment"
(Yom Hadin).

13. Because on that day we represent ourselves
as being judged by God for our past lives.

14. It is also called "The Day of Sounding the
Shofar,'' or ram's horn.

15. Because the Shofar is sounded on that day,
to remind us to appear before the Lord.

16. It is the beginning of the Jewish civil New

(For the Ecclesiastical New Year, New Year for Trees, etc.,
see Appendix IV.)


3. The Heavens declare the glory of God and the firma-
ment sheweth His handiwork. Psalm xix, i.

4. O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast
Thou made them all; the earth is full of Thy possessions.
Psalm civ, 24.

5. Reverence the Lord, ye His holy ones. Psalm, xxxiv, Q.
I love the Lord. Psalm cxvi, i.

6. Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel. Amos iv, 12.

7. Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break
up your fallow-ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, till He
come and rain righteousness upon you. Hoshea x, 12.

8. I will wash mine hands in innocence; so will I compass
Thine altar, O Lord. Psalm xxvi, 6.

10. If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let
not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. Job xi, 14.

13. For He cometh to judge the earth; with righteousness
shall He judge the world and peoples with equity. Psalm
xcviii, 9.


14. And in the seventh month, on the first day of the month,

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