Religious and Ethnic Groups

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Religious and Ethnic Groups
Ika Michelle Webb
ETH/125
June 7, 2013
Judith Rozarie

Religious and Ethnic Groups

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Orthodox Judaism is a “the religion of those Jews who adhere most strictly to traditional beliefs and practices.” (Britannica, 2013) Differentiating from Christianity, Orthodox Jews adhere to daily worship, traditional prayers and holidays, and how and when a child goes through adulthood. While in a synagogue, men and women are separated, which is unlike many religions presented in our society. Orthodox Jews are often looked at as very strict and traditional. The dress garments are used to make them stand out from the world around them as well as to preserve the traditions. “For women, pants are not permitted; all clothing must cover the chest to the neck and the arms to at least the elbows and fall below the knees. As a sign of modesty, married women hide their hair with a covering that may be a wig over a shorn head (in the most extreme cases), a wig over hair, a scarf, or a hat.” (Worldmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices, 2006) For this reason, today’s society seems to have viewed Orthodox Jews as weird, segregated and just different. Our society sees lots of skin and very few modest women. Jewish people have contributed to American culture for their fight for rights equality. In 1965, in the march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama, you found “Rabbi Abraham Heschel and African American leader Martin Luther King Jr. joining arms and leading a group of hundreds of protestors in the action against discriminatory voting rights policies (Heschel.)” (Brown, 2010) Though Heschel was not an Orthodox Jew, he still fought for the rights of his people, all Jews, as well as the rights that every American deserves, regardless of race or skin color. Even in our society today you will see camaraderie between an African American and a Jew. Because they fought side by side with African Americans for equal rights, Jewish men and women will forever have an impact on our country. Throughout the history of the world, Jews have been discriminated against, and persecuted. Adolf Hitler sought to “exterminate” them from our society. Hitler killed around six million Jewish men, women, and children during the Holocaust. He not only discriminated against Jews, but anyone who could be a Jew, just based on their physical appearance. I think that learning more of their culture and religion has helped me better understand their group. I was curious of many things regarding Orthodox Jews and their Hasidic practices. For instance, I was unaware that the Torah is the first five books of the Holy Bible. Knowing that they dress in such traditional and modest clothing to adhere to their traditions is something that all American’s should look up to. Having such a devout faith to have no regard for the culture around you and being so devoted to your faith, or any cause, is something that I think is an admirable quality. South American Hispanics differ not only from White Americans, Asians or African Americans, but also, in part, to other Hispanics. Brazil does not speak Spanish as other Hispanic and Latino countries do. Brazilians speak Portuguese. Not all Hispanics from South America speak this language, but Brazilians, in their own right, have their own little corner if Hispania. South Americans also tend to have a harbored feud with other Hispanics. Brazilians do not want to be mistaken for Colombian; Columbian do not want to be mistaken for Chilean; and so on. In America, Hispanics also tend to be clumped together. Since the closest Hispanic country to the American border is Mexico, many American’s classify all Hispanic people as Mexican. This also becomes an issue among White American’s as well as Hispanics. Again, each group of Hispanics does not like to be classified as another, causing tension when being addressed as such, is most likely unbeknownst to the person who improperly identified...
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