Seven Keys to Jewish Life. DVD
What makes Judaism different from other religions? What are the biblical sources for enigmatic Jewish observances? What is the meaning of the Hebrew blessings recited during each ritual? What does it all symbolize?
Certain rituals, symbols, and practices have long been associated with the Jewish People, but few non-Jews actually understand their biblical origins and their continuing significance in modern times. "Seven Keys to Jewish Life" explores the seven pillars of Judaism to reveal the manner in which Jews still live to this very day and the meaning behind their way of life.
1. The Sabbath: Known as "Shabbat" in Hebrew and "Shabbos" in Yiddish, the Jewish Sabbath is observed every Friday evening from one hour before sundown until Saturday evening one hour after sundown. It is a day filled with prayer, Torah study, family, and peace that remembers the Seventh Day of Creation, on which Jews are bidden to imitate the Lord's own rest. It is an occasion for songs of freedom and social justice praising the Holy One for removing the Hebrew slaves from oppression in the Land of Egypt, and for abstaining from the 39 categories of "m'lacha", labor, which He describes in His Torah.
"Seven Keys to Jewish Life" invites you to spend a Sabbath with a Jewish family and to participate in the most important rituals this People has observed every week since the Exodus from Egypt.
2. What is kosher?: The video takes you into a Jewish kitchen to clearly explain which foods are kosher and which are not, the biblical sources for "kashrut" (the Jewish body of Law that regulates the diet), and the practical observance thereof in modern times.
Did you know that every religious Jewish kitchen contains at least two (and many up to 6!) full sets of dishes? Did you ever notice any myster- ious symbols on the packaging of popular foods you purchase at the supermarket? These are the modern-day signs that the Chosen People of God are still observing His "Mitzvot" (Command-
ments) even into the 21st century!
3. Chanuka: The "Festival of Lights" is an eight-day holiday that celebrates, as many know, a miracle of oil that occurred in ancient Temple times. Crucial to an understanding of the festiv- ities, though, is the history of the military victory of the Maccabees over the pagan Greek oppressors who had invaded the Holy Land.
An evening with a Jewish family elucidates the traditions, laws, songs, blessings of the lights and thanksgiving for victory and miracle... even which Jewish specialties are favorite Chanuka foods!
4. The Shofar: "Seven Keys to Jewish Life" takes you to a shofar-maker to see the step-by-step fashioning of a simple ram's horn into a majestic biblical instrument (the shofar) whose sound pleased the Lord and awakened the souls of His People to righteousness. Discussion of its biblical history and usage as well as its employment in rituals today is pierced by the sights and sounds of the blowing of the shofar in actual synagogue services.
5. Mezuzah: "...and write them (these, My Commandments) upon the doorposts of your house and upon your gates" (Deuteronomy 6:9). This is the biblical source for those beautiful elongated boxes that grace every Jewish door- way. Inside are hand-written parchments of Torah passages that proclaim the Oneness and Majesty of God and this, His Commandment.
"Seven Keys to Jewish Life" opens up the mezuzah case to reveal its precious contents, travels to a traditional Jewish scribe to observe the writing thereof, and even stops in at a Jewish house-warming party, where a crowd of friends and family wait to enter until the blessing has been recited and the first mezuzah affixed to the doorpost of a new Jewish home.
6. Tefillin: "...Bind them as a sign upon your arm and they shall be for frontlets between your eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:8)