April 6, 2013
Religious and Ethnic Groups
All groups in the United States, whether ethnic or religious, face and overcome adversity because of the diversity they bring to our melting pot. Orthodox Judaism is a very diverse religion with strict beliefs and rituals, and adds strong cultural roots to the United States. The Hispanic population is also very distinct, and has endured racial discrimination throughout history. The experiences of these two groups have only added to their diversity, and have made them stronger because of the hardships they both have had to endure.
Orthodox Judaism differs from other religious groups dramatically. Like other religions, Orthodox Jews are very strict when it comes to their religious beliefs and worship practices, but they are still very diverse when it comes to their core beliefs and rituals. According to “Orthodox Jews” (2010), “they go to the synagogue three times a day, wear skullcaps (Yarmulkeh or Kipah in Hebrew) at all times, only eat kosher foods, and are very ritualistic when it comes to observing holidays and important events”. They believe in one God, and they believe that they are His chosen people. Unlike Christianity, Orthodox Jews believe that Jesus is not the Messiah, but that Moses is the most important prophet because God spoke to him on Mt. Siani and because Moses interceded for the chosen ones. They do not believe that the Messiah has come yet, therefore they do not believe in the redemption of sins through death on the cross. They believe that you get into Heaven based on earthly deeds compared to sins, whereas other religions have different views on this. They have strong family values and live together in communities such as Jerusalem, Israel and Brooklyn, NY.
Likewise, Hispanics differ from other racial/ethnic groups in various ways. They encompass more than twenty different nationalities, and speak many different types of Spanish dialects (“Hispanic Research Inc.” 2009). Also, unlike many other racial/ethnic groups, they have strong family values and their households usually consist of five or more family members including extended family. They take pride in their appearance, usually dressing up in special attire and footwear for events while enjoying and dancing to vibrant music. Furthermore, a large percentage of Hispanics are Roman Catholic, and come from Spanish and Indian heritage. Additionally, they have a wonderful array of diverse dishes with a wide range of tastes that will satisfy any craving. I feel that they are unlike any other culture in the world, and they add plenty to our country’s melting pot.
The experience of Orthodox Jewish individuals with others who do not share its beliefs or practices has been hard for them. Many people of different religions sometimes question the Jewish belief system and pick on them for wearing funny hats and clothes. On the other hand, many people from other religions feel that Jews look down upon others because they feel that they are God’s chosen people, therefore others are beneath them, and however this is not their belief system. Christians believe that even though the Jewish population is God’s chosen people, that in fact, they will go to hell for lack of belief in Jesus Christ. The most controversy, however, is with other Judaism belief systems such as with Conservative or Reform Jews.
Similarly, Hispanics have faced hardships with other groups that disagree with their acceptance to our nation. People tend to believe that Hispanics should not be in America because a lot of them come here illegally, but there are many Hispanic individuals who were born here and have every right to be here. Their way of life is not accepted and they are treated unfairly by law enforcement, majority groups, and minority groups. In fact, “FBI statistics show a dramatic increase in anti-Hispanic hate crimes. And sadly, hate...