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Featured Daily Life

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by Tumah, Nov 21, 2016.

  1. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    There being different religions represented here, I thought we could share what our daily/weekly/monthly/yearly/... life looks like in terms of religious obligations, rituals and the like.

    Things like "We have to love G-d" don't count as I'm looking more at "a day (month/year) in the life of", rather than a full dissertation on your religion. I don't think its necessary to include things that might or might not occur like births and deaths.
     
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  2. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    (In the interest of keeping it as concise as possible, in addition to the Laws, I won't bring every different custom, just the more common ones.).

    Daily

    • Upon waking, we immediately say a short one line prayer thanking G-d for returning my soul
    • Immediately after that, we are required to pour water on each hand with a special cup three times consecutively (R,L,R,L,R,L)
    • Getting dressed, I put on the right side of each article of clothing first and then the left side, top to bottom. A fringed garment goes under my shirt. Tying knots (such as for shoes) is left to right.
    • Some people ritually immerse themselves before prayers.
    • Before eating or drinking (except water, tea or coffee) we go to the synagogue for the morning prayers the earliest to do so is about 40 minutes after dawn, but congregations usually begin anywhere from about 40 minutes before sunrise to 3 hours after sunrise:
      • On Sun., Tues., Wed., and Fri. it takes about 45 min to an hour, depending on the speed of the congregation
      • On Mon. and Thurs. it takes an additional 10-15 minutes as there is also reading from the Torah scroll and additional supplications.
    • As an a married man of non-Germanic, European descent, in addition to my phylacteries that I received at the age of 13, I also wear a prayer shawl (which is not actually a shawl and wouldn't even be kosher as a shawl, but there it is) for the morning prayers.
    • After prayers, some take the time to read 1/7 of the weekly Torah portion or other short studying.
    • Now its permitted to eat. Foods are divided into 6 categories with respect to the blessing prior to eating and three categories for the blessing(s) after eating.
      • Eating bread at any time requires ritual washing of the hands with a cup (usually R,R,L,L or R,R,R,L,L,L)
    • After that, there's no ritual obligations until the afternoon services.
    • From 30 minutes after solar noon until sunset, there is an obligation to pray the afternoon services at the synagogue. That takes about 20 or so. No phylacteries or prayer shawls are worn (except the prayer leader who may wear the shawl).
    • Back to work, study, or whatever.
    • From sunset until dawn (although preferably until solar midnight) there is an obligation to pray the evening services at the synagogue. That takes about 20 minutes or so as well. No phylacteries or prayer shawls may be worn.
    • Immediately before going to sleep, we say prayers and blessing for sleeping. Takes about 3-5 minutes.
    Weekly
    Sabbath
    • On Friday afternoon, the Sabbath comes. Because cooking is not allowed on the Sabbath, from Thursday night or early Friday morning until everything is ready (sometime on Friday...hopefully) we prepare the food.
    • Because many forms of cleaning and bathing is not permitted on the Sabbath, we will do this as well now. Its also customary to cut one's nails and hair (if needed) on Friday (preferably before solar noon).
    • Many ritually purify themselves in a ritual bath in honor of the Sabbath.
    • From 40 minutes before Sunset (18 minutes everywhere outside the Jerusalem region), we take in the Sabbath. At this point, the wife (or if she's not home the husband) will light lights (wax candles or oil) and make a blessing on the Sabbath lights.
    • Around that time (15 minutes later in the Jerusalem region), males will go to the synagogue for the afternoon prayer. This time, its a few minutes shorter.
    • After the afternoon prayer, a bunch of Psalms and a liturgical song are said to usher in the Sabbath.
    • We remain in the synagogue until a certain amount of time after Sunset. Then the evening prayers are said. This version is slightly longer than the regular weekday evening prayers.
    • After the prayers, we return home for a festive meal. All festive meals follow the same formula: We start with a blessing on wine, wash hands then eat bread. Most people will generally follow with fish and then a meat or poultry entree. There is singing.
    • The bed ritual is the same as during the week. On Friday nights, it is strongly encouraged for married couples to have relations (assuming the wife is not within 12 days of starting to menstruate until her ritual immersion, or a day that she had previously started menstruating on).
    • The ritual upon waking is the same as above.
    • Before services many (especially those who engaged in relations the night before) will ritually immerse themselves for purification.
    • Most synagogues hold the morning services on the Sabbath a bit later than during the week. Prayers take about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Phylacteries may not be worn, but a prayer shawl (usually one dedicated for Sabbath and the holidays) is worn.
    • After the morning services, we return home for another festive meal that follows the previous pattern. There is a widespread custom among Jews of all ethnic descents to have a hot entree at this meal.
    • Since all creative activities are prohibited on the Sabbath, after the meal, we will usually nap, spend time with the family and study.
    • Evening services takes about 25 minutes due to an additional short Torah reading. They are usually held any time from 30 minutes after solar noon until about 45 minutes before sunset in order to allow time to start the last festive meal before sunset.
    • After the evening services, the last Sabbath meal is held. There is no blessing on wine, but there is bread. The meal is usually lighter (probably because you're still stuffed from lunch). There is fish. After this meal, we can't eat or drink until after the post-Sabbath ritual.
    • The evening services are usually held about 35-72 minutes after Sunset. They take a few minutes longer than the regular evening services.
    • After the evening services, the post-Sabbath ritual takes place, usually at home. A blessing is made on wine, a flame with 2+ wicks and spices.
    • At some point before going to sleep, there's another post-Sabbath meal, preferably with bread.
    Monthly
    • Each month has either 29 or 30 days. The 30th day and 1st day of a month are a minor holiday called the New Month. About 15 minutes of extra prayers and Torah reading is added to the morning prayer service.
    • A prayer is added to the evening prayers (usually after a Sabbath) for the sanctification of the moon. This prayer is added once in the 11 day span between three days after the start of the new month to two weeks after.
    • Some have the custom to add a celebratory meal to the [one or two] days of the New Month.
     
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  3. Kirran

    Kirran
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    Well, there's plenty of important religious festivals that I take part in if I can. Prominent ones include Shivaratri, which is a festival dedicated to Lord Shiva that falls in March-kind-of-time, where you stay up all night and worship Shiva or meditate on Shiva or whatever your jam is. The most recent one I really struggled staying awake during the 4am-5am period!

    Navaratri is another big one, it's nine nights dedicated to worship of different aspects of the Divine Mother (Lakshmi, Saraswati, Durga, as you like). That's in September/October. So you worship every evening, you get to sleep. Also Subramanium festival falls in June and that's a two-week-roughly festival that worships Lord Murugan.

    Also, I celebrate Christmas as a religious festival :)
     
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  4. Reggie Miller

    Reggie Miller Well-Known Member

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    Per Galations 4:10-14 Christians are not required to observe special days and months and seasons. So I do not.
     
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  5. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    For anyone interested, here's the rest of the year. I had to break it up into two posts.

    First 6 months:
    First Month
    New Year
    • The month starts with the New Year holiday. This is a two day festival that has all the Laws of the Sabbath with the exception that it is permitted to cook (so long as one has prepared a heat source before the holiday) foods that are better freshly cooked.
    • Although some things may be cooked on the holiday, generally most people have most of the food prepared beforehand.
    • There is a custom to ritually immerse before the start of the holiday.
    • About 40 minutes before sunset, (18 minutes outside the Jerusalem area) wax candles or oil lights are lit in honor of the holiday by the wife.
    • All prayers on this holiday are significantly longer. Morning prayers can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours.
    • There is a custom to eat foods with names that allude to positive messages. Honey or sugar becomes a staple of all Sabbath and festival meals for the next 3 weeks.
    • The day after this holiday is a fast day from dawn until sunset. No eating or drinking until after the evening prayers.
    Day of Atonement
    • Ten days after the previous holiday is the Day of Atonement. The previous day was the last day of added supplications.
    • There's a special festive meal (with bread) held the day before the fast.
    • There is a custom to ritually immerse before the start of the holiday.
    • About 40 minutes before sunset, (18 minutes outside the Jerusalem area) wax candles or oil lights are lit in honor of the holiday by the wife. All Sabbath-type laws apply.
    • This day is a 25 hour fast day. No food, drink, leather shoes, washing of any kind or relations.
    • All the prayers are significantly longer. The evening prayers take about 2-3 hours. The morning prayers take about 6 hours. The afternoon prayers takes about an hour or so. There's an additional prayer service held after the afternoon prayers about an hour or so before sunset that takes about an hour as well.
    • There's a festive meal held after the fast. Its common to sanctify the new moon at this time.
    • The custom is to begin preparation for the following holiday tonight by starting to build the Tabernacles hut.
    Tabernacles
    • Four days after the Day of Atonement is Tabernacles.
    • We build a hut during these four days according to religious specifications to live in for the duration of the holiday (7 days in Israel, 8 days outside it). Eating, drinking, sleeping and lounging should all be done inside it.
    • We buy the Four Species: a palm branch, three myrtle branches, two willow branches and a citron. The first three will be bound together and all four will be shaken during a certain prayer in the morning services of each day of the holiday.
    • On the 14th of the month, like all major holidays, cleaning, showering and ritual immersion are done before the holiday starts. Lights are lit and Sabbath type rules are in effect for one day (two days outside Israel) with the exception of cooking as above.
    • Prayers average around the same as the Sabbath on the first (and second) day/s. The morning is slightly longer. The post-holiday ritual blessing on wine is done after the evening services.
    • The following 6 (or 5 outside Israel) days Sabbath-type restrictions are eased and prayer services more closely resemble a normal weekday.
    • At the conclusion of the evening prayers of the first (or second outside Israel) day of the holiday, a post holiday ritual blessing is made on a cup of wine. The following 6 (or 5) days are a quasi-holiday having the Laws of the holiday, while the Sabbath-type prohibitions are lightened.
    • Two festive meals are held on the first (or first two) day/s. A minimum of one festive meal is held on every following day of the holiday, however unlike the first day (or two) wine is drunk during the meal rather than before it).
    • On the last day of this holiday, there is a custom to stay up all night studying. The following morning's prayers take about 2 - 2 1/2 hours.
    Eighth of Assembly
    • The day after Tabernacles is a new holiday called the Eighth of Assembly/The Happiness of Torah (outside Israel these are split into two separate days of holiday.) It has all the regular pre-holiday and holiday things with bathing, cooking, lighting lights, etc.
    • At the end of the evening prayers and the middle of the morning prayers, the Torah scrolls are removed from the Ark and the congregation dances around the platform a minimum of 7 times. This takes an hour or two.
    • The entire congregation is called up individually to make blessings on the Torah portion of the holiday. Generally a synagogue will have more than one Torah scroll to expedite the process.
    • In total, the evening prayer takes about 2 hours, the morning prayer about 4 - 5 hours and the afternoon prayer and additional 20 minutes or so.
    • At the conclusion of the evening prayers, a post holiday ritual blessing is made on a cup of wine.
    Second Month
    • The second month has no holidays and is called "bitter" for that.
    Third Month
    Festival of Lights
    • On the 25th of this month,is the 8 day long Festival of Lights. We light wax candles or oil lights.
    • An additional light is lit for each day (ie. 1 light the first day, 2 lights the second day...) totaling 36 lights.
    • An additional 5-10 minute prayer is added to the regular morning services.
    • Lots of jelly donuts and potato pancakes are eaten.
    Fourth Month
    • The first three days of this month mark the last three days of the Festival of Lights.
    • On the 10th day of this month, a fast day is held from dawn until sunset. No eating or drinking.
    Fifth Month
    • On the 15th day of this month marks the New Year for tree-related Laws. Some supplications are omitted from the morning and afternoon prayers.
    • There's a custom to pray for the citron one will buy for the following festival of Tabernacles.
    Sixth (Seventh on a leap year) Month
    Purim
    • On the 14th of this month from dawn until sunset is the a fast day. No food or drink
    • After the evening prayers (on what is now the 15th), Purim starts. The Book of Esther is read. It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Kids make noise every time Haman is mentioned. Some people (and many kids) get dressed up in costumes.
    • A festive meal is eaten afterwards.
    • The following day, the Book of Esther is read again during morning prayers which takes that much additional time from a regular weekday morning services.
    • Food baskets are given out to friends, family, neighbors and anyone else. Special charity is given out as well.
    • The afternoon services are held, usually as early as possible. Most people will shortly not be capable of praying.
    • A festive meal is held. Much alcoholic drink is drunk. So are the people.
    • Evening services are held after sunset whenever enough (ie. 10) sober people show up.
    • In Jerusalem, this is all done on the 16th rather than the 15th of the month.
     
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  6. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    Last 6 months:
    Seventh (Eighth on a leap year) Month
    Passover
    • For the duration of the 7 (or 8) days of the holiday, all products that were not properly prepared according to Passover specification are removed from the house. That includes all products containing wheat, barely, oat, rye and spelt. For Jews of European descent that also includes certain types of legumes, seeds and beans and other grains.
    • On the 14th of this month after the evening prayers is the Search for Unleavened bread. A blessing is recited and then we search our entire houses for any products containing grains. This marks the conclusion of deep cleaning the house to make sure there are no grain products floating around. A short prayer is said afterwards. There is a custom is to put out 10 pieces of bread to "find".
    • On the following day after the regular morning services, any found/remaining grain products are burnt followed by a short prayer.
    • Firstborn male children (like myself) have the custom to fast on this day. There is also a custom to annul the fast by attending a mini party marking the conclusion of a Talmudic tractate. Since we are getting rid of grain products, macaroons or dates are usually served.
    • True Fact: Macaroons are the worst idea for a cookie ever.
    • All regular pre-holiday and holiday things apply: cleaning, ritual immersion, bathing, lighting lights, Sabbath-type rules except for cooking, etc.
    • After the evening prayer which takes about 10-15 minutes longer than usual, everyone returns home for the Passover Seder.
    • The Passover Seder is a 14 part hours long ritual that takes place at the table. A special text is read from, certain foods are eaten as well as a festive meal that takes place in the middle. Some prayers are said.
    • Since we can't eat bread for the duration of the holiday, Matzah, a type of thick cracker is used instead. Some of us, (including myself) have the custom not to allow Matzah to touch liquids.
    • The morning prayers are slightly longer than the regular Sabbath morning prayers.
    • Another festive meal is held after the morning prayers. The afternoon and evening prayers take about 20 minutes each.
    • At the conclusion of the evening prayers on the second night of the holiday, begins the Counting of the Omer. Every night for the next 49 days a blessing and a special counting formula is said.
    • A post-holiday ritual blessing is made in the home on a cup of wine at the conclusion of the evening prayers after the first (or second) day.
    • There's a festive meal held every day for the remaining 5 (or 4) days. The Sabbath-type prohibitions are lightened.
    • The 7th (and 8th) day of the festival is called "The Seventh of Passover". The house is cleaned. The people are washed. The candles are lit and the holiday returns to its Sabbath-type prohibitions with the exception of some cooking. The following night a post-holiday ritual blessing on wine after the evening prayers marks the end of the holiday.
    Eighth (Ninth on a leap year) Month
    Lag Ba'Omer
    Ninth (Tenth on a leap year) Month
    Festival of Weeks
    • On the 6th (and 7th) of this month marks the 50th day of the counting of the Omer, the completion of the seven Weeks. No count is done on this day.
    • This festival is just like all the other, with no bathing, lighting candles, festive meals, longer prayers, post-holiday ritual blessing on wine, etc.
    • It is customary to stay up the entire night (or two nights) of the holiday studying. Those that do, generally start the morning prayers about an our before sunrise rather than later.
    • It is customary to eat some type of dairy food.
    Tenth (Eleventh on a leap year) Month
    • The 17th of this month from dawn until sunset is a fast day. No food or drink.
    • This fast marks the start of the Three Weeks a sad time in Judaism.
    Eleventh (Twelfth on a leap year) Month
    • The first day of the month marks the start of the Nine Days. Bathing is discouraged or when necessary with tepid or cold water. Doing laundry, eating meat and poultry are prohibited.
    • On the 9th of this month marks the Fast of Av. Immediately before the fast, we eat a customary meal of an egg and bread dipped in ashes.
    • The fast starts at sundown of the 9th and ends at sundown of the 10th. No food, drink, bathing or washing of any kind is permitted.
    • From sunset until noon the following day, we sit on low chairs like mourners.
    • The book of Lamentations is read at the evening and morning prayers. Additional supplications are said by both prayers.
    • Although there are no Sabbath-type prohibitions, phylacteries are not worn at the morning services but are put on at noon prayers instead.
    Twelfth (Thirteenth on a leap year) Month
    • This is the last month of the year. Jews of Middle Eastern descent have the custom to begin adding supplications to the morning prayers. Jews of European descent wait until the Saturday night a week before the end of the month. Its meant to be a time for introspection and repentance.
     
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  7. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    I'd like to get a description of how its practiced, rather than just names. What's the day like? What do you do? That kind of stuff.
     
  8. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    Well, I guess that counts.
    What about other rituals that might occur over the year unrelated to the time of year?
     
  9. Reggie Miller

    Reggie Miller Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what you mean. Like what?
     
  10. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    I don't know. Maybe you have to go to church and shout 'Hallelujah!' once a week? Maybe you have to kiss a cross every time you walk past a door?
     
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  11. Kirran

    Kirran
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    OK, well I can speak only for how I personally have experienced it.

    So in the Shivaratri puja I went to for my most recent Shivaratri there were five mahabhishekams, with bhajan singing in between.

    So the puja begins with the basic mantras for each aspect in the temple being chanted to them (Ganesha, Saraswati, Jesus, Kali etc) then worship focuses on the murti (statue, idol) of Shiva which is being worshipped first. The pujari, the person who's carrying out the mahabhishekham, chants particular mantras while pouring various substances over the murti, including milk, ghee, pulped fruit, water... While this happens the entire group in attendance will sing bhajans (devotional songs) to Shiva. When this mahabhishekam has finished, there is a "break" before the next one during which time everyone sings bhajans to any aspect of God until the next one. A different murti was worshipped at each mahabhishekam, four of them statues of Shiva-Nataraj (@sayak83's profile pic) and one of them a lingam (my profile pic). Towards the end of each mahabhishekam, offerings brought by the pilgrims present are offered to Shiva, having been divided by myself and pals into five clumps of similar quantities. We have a special song to sing during that, too.

    Went on from 9pm to 6am. If you wanted, you could then go up the hill where a standard-issue puja to Kali was happening half an hour later, or you could go to bed.
     
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  12. Kirran

    Kirran
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    The fun thing is, Christianity's so varied in custom that most vaguely-reasonable guesses will be right for some of them.

    For Hindus, the guesses don't have to be reasonable!
     
  13. Flankerl

    Flankerl Well-Known Member

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    Monday - Friday: Literal slavery.
    Saturday - Sunday: Freedom.


    @Tumah
    You've got way too much free time if you can write this all. Someone should call your wife to fix that. :p
     
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  14. Reggie Miller

    Reggie Miller Well-Known Member

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    Nope, I don't have to do anything but only devote myself to the apostles' doctrine, to fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer.
     
  15. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    Haha! I didn't write it all in one shot. I did a little bit at a time over a few days.
     
  16. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    There you go. Breaking of bread and prayer. Why don't you share how that works.
     
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  17. Reggie Miller

    Reggie Miller Well-Known Member

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    Breaking of bread is done during Mass and known to most as communion, most people on here know what that's about.

    Prayer is praying to God. Pretty simple, really.
     
  18. Kirran

    Kirran
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    There'll be plenty of people here who don't know how a Mass runs, don't know the ritual involved there. Would you like to give a talk through that for people who aren't in the know?
     
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  19. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    Most people may know it, but I have no idea what mass is all about. I'm not even sure which sects have mass.

    Its not simple at all. There's many different ways to pray. There's structured prayer, unstructured prayer, private prayer, communal prayer. There's thanks, praise and supplication. There's a big variety out there. Unless you explain what you're talking about, not everyone is going to understand.
     
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  20. Kirran

    Kirran
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    Before I eat I recite the following, paying careful attention to the meaning and feeling of the words.

    Om Brahma Panem
    Brahma Havir
    Brahma Agnau
    Brahmana Hutam.
    Brahmeiva Tena Gantavyam
    Brahma Karma Samadhina.

    This means: God is the act of offering, and God is that which is offered. God is the fire into which the offering is given, and God is the one making the offering. [Realisation of, Unity with] God is obtained by the one who performs actions with the mind one-pointed on God.

    I then let that sink in for a bit and pray and thank and so forth. Then I eat.
     
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