Intro To Religion
Faith in the Jewish Community
I was lucky to have interviewed a very inspirational adult I look up too as not only a friend, but a very religious human being. Mr. Rock (name changed) has been raised in the jewish community his whole life, and he is blessed his parents have raised him that way. A lot has happened in his life which has changed him into the man that he has become today.
Judaism in my opinion is a very unique faith that I find very interesting. Jewish people do not have the Bible like us Catholics do, but they have their own very unique book called The Torah. The Torah is a book of the laws given to the Israelities. They believe that they must follow God's laws which describes daily life. Books now that are written by rabbis, that determine the law as it applies to life every day. The Jewish community has over 13 million people in it. Judaism dates all the way back to the first century B.C and has been around every since. Discussing about this faith with Mr. Rock I have learned more and have considered being more open to religions.
Mr. Rock has been in my life for almost 13 years. He is a very close family friend and has always been their as a family friend to help myself, or my family. Something I have always admired about him was his loyalty, and faith. He has helped coach me before in my sports, helped my family when in need, and has also made him self very successful with the work field that he is in. Knowing what Mr. Rock has been threw, he inspired me to interview him and ask many unique questions to find out why he does, and believes in his faith as strongly as he does today.
I’ve always known the very basic stuff about the Jewish faith, but after interviewing Mr. Rock I’ve learned much more then faith. I asked, “Why has his faith become so strong?” He simply explained, “I was serving in the Korean War at the time that I nearly had to reconsider my whole life. I’ve seen to many of my close friends being killed, and seeing so many of my soliders injured with no chance of recovery, that I needed to get out of the war life all together.” Hearing this I was shocked. I proceeded to ask myself, why do people in war, jail, or almost near death experiences take interest in becoming more religious, and change their lifestyle all together. I proceeded to ask, “Why did you turn to religion, why couldn’t have you just stayed the same and just get out of the Army and start a whole new life all over again?” He began to elaborate, “ All my friends, who are now veterans, have unfortunately turned to dugs, alcohol, or money issues to try and find happiness, after being traumatized with the result of being in war. My wife has always been by my side, motivating me to reach out and learn more about my faith. She knew I was mentally scarred of the vision of war that was in the back of my mind. She told me to not break down, and religion was always the answer.” Hearing these specific things off of very basic questions made me just want to hear more of what Mr. Rock had to say.
I was curious to asking him where he practices his religion, seeing that in my town there are not many jewish people around. There is a community center for Jewish people in my town of Flemington N.J, that is actually very big from what I have saw. I was lucky enough for Mr. Rock to take me to temple to see what a religious ceremony was like. Seeing that it was very different from a Catholic mass, people spoke in hebrew, which obviously I did not understand and I thought that was very cool. They do not participate in communion, but during pass over they do eat unleavened bread, which means there isn't any yeast in the bread, they eat herbs, and drink wine. I thought it was very interesting attending temple, and I was very happy that they were very welcoming in me attending their ceremony.
So after learning that Mr. Rock has been raised and brought up Jewish I wanted to learn more about him being raised like this. He told me that his parents were the most religious people he has ever seen. He specifically said, “I was raised as a very Conservative Jew. My bar mitzvah was the beginning of me living like a true Jewish person. When I went back to my faith in my 30’s , it was through Carlebach and Lubavitch. Describing more about how he was brought up, I understood why he was back in and out of his faith. He lost his grandparents and mother at a young age, that no person should go through at the age that they died. He lost faith when he lost his family and friend members. A lot has happened in this world, that he believed for a very long time that religion and a higher power was non existent. He feels that if it wasn't for the Korean war, he would of lost all contact in his faith and Jewish community.
I feel that Catholics and Jews have many similarities and differences. The similarities that both religions have are masses, religious positions, ceremonies of worship, and they believe in a higher religious power. The differences in all those 4 Similarities are the fact that Jewish people do not have masses, they attend temple and do not take part in Communion. The religion positions are different in the sense they have different names, and different sense of authority, in the sense that there are Priests vs. Rabbi’s. Ceremonies as in communion, reconciliation, against bah mitzvah’s. Catholics believe in God and Jesus, while the Jewish community believes only in God.
There are many laws, teachings, and beliefs that Mr. Rock does not believe in, or think they are right. He questions the Halacha laws a little bit. There are teachings of every day living. He decided to pick money because he believes the stereo type of Jewish people is funny and some what true. The Jewish teachings describes how one should give to charity, respecting others' property, and dealing honestly in business. Mr. Rock believes that Jewish people are very cheap and safe with their money, only because they know how to save it and spend it wisely due to this Jewish teaching. One Jewish belief that the Jews believe in is that Jesus or the Messiah does not exist. Mr. Rock wants to believe that their was someone who came into this world in an earlier time to teach everyone about God’s power and teachings. He believes that Jewish people should actually read the New Testament and have an open mind about it. He wishes that some things The Torah taught were not true, worded different, or had a different outlook on a few things.
Now after learning about what he agreed to and disagreed too, I was curious as to what Mr. Rock thought about The Torah, God, and the holy land of Israel all together. His response was short and straight to the point. He said, “I believe in the traditional God of Israel. But I accept Jewish ideas of God also. I can love and talk to Him. The most powerful being we know in the world, at this point, is the human being. We call the holy spirit the Ruach HaKodesh, but I want to believe in a much better power than that. I want to believe that the closets thing I can get to see and hear what God is all about, is through each and every person I meet every day of my life!” Hearing this really opened my eyes to the idea of God was truly in every person, no matter if they were good or evil.
So the interview came to an end. I was very pleased to have interviewed Mr. Rock, because he is a person you do not really come around every day on a day to day basis. He is a very unique individual, who expresses his love for not only his religion but for human life its self, and I find that to be very admiring. I’m blessed to have interviewed him, and I am grateful he gave me the opportunity to dig into his deepest darkest thoughts.