Year 5 Learn About The Jewish Religion

Year 5 were delighted to learn more about the Jewish religion when Mrs George came into our classroom.  She brought with her some important symbols of their faith and explained their significance to us.  We were also shown how the letters in the Hebrew alphabet were formed.


She showed us the Kippah (a skull cap) which the children enjoyed trying on.  She explained that is worn by the men, and that it is a reminder to them that they are duty bound to follow the laws of God at all times in all places.  We were also shown a Tallit – which is a shawl that has 615 strings and knots which signify the number of commandments of the Torah.  The Torah is the religious book for the Jews and we were interested to learn how this book was read – the words are read from right to left, and that you start to read from the back.


We learnt that to Jews the most important day of the week is the Sabbath which starts at sunset on Friday and continues until sunset on Saturday.  During the Sabbath they can do nothing that might be counted as work, such as driving and cooking.  So, everything needed to be prepared the day before the Sabbath began. Families go to the synagogue to worship their faith.


The children were told the special significance of the bar mitzvah and a bat mitzvah.  They are special ceremonies where Jewish boys (aged 13) and girls (aged 12) can become adults in the eyes of the Jewish religion.  The bar mitzvah, which means Son of the Commandment, takes place in the synagogue as part of the service.   The Bat mitzvah is for girls and means Daughter of the Commandment can take place on the Sabbath after the service at the synagogue.


Mrs George also showed us a musical instrument, called a Shofar, which is a rams horn which is blown.  She explained that it was used during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, a time that commemorates the creation of the world.  This festival is also known as the Day of Judgement, the Day of the Sounding of the Shofar, and the Day of Remembrance.  Over the two days of Rosh Hashanah there are special services at the synagogue where the Shofar is a part of.  The sound of the Shofar makes a loud piercing sound like a trumpet and reminds Jews of God’s great power.  People also eat slices of apples dipped in honey.  This is a way of wishing each other a sweet and happy New Year.


The children were keen to ask questions and our discussion was lively and interesting.  We all learnt something new and it was lovely to share this together.  We also shared some bread and juice together; just as Jewish families would to commence the Sabbath.