Judaism: The world’s oldest religion and the basis of many others

Grace Yi, Staff Writer

There are a significant number of Jewish believers at Carlmont.

One believer of Judaism, a sophomore, Leah Roe, said Judaism “is the basic religion… because it started first, all [religions] sprang off of Judaism… Like, Jesus is Jewish so in reality we are all Jewish.”

Roe also does not think that Judaism “is the highest [religion] but it’s definitely the root of a majority of monotheistic religions.”

Throughout the year, there are many Jewish holidays that are celebrated, such as Hanukkah and Rosh Hashanah. However, due to the conflicting schedules with school and the abundant workload given, participation in these celebrations is harder.

“Now that I am in high school, I don’t miss school for the holidays; but if it is during the weekend I do go to the synagogue for half the day for the special ceremonies,” said Sophie Fox, a sophomore and a follower of Judaism.

However, there is one event that can be made as an exception to school. The 13th birthday in the culture of Judaism, is the biggest event for all boys and girls. It is the celebration of becoming a man or woman.

Andrew Wach, a sophomore, had a Bar Mitzvah and explained the immense preparations for the eventful day. “Before 7th grade, you learn Hebrew and learn to read from the Torah…and when you are coming close to your 13th birthday you have to spend 6 months studying with the rabbis and learning how to say your prayers.”

Wach concluded that a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah is like a “Sweet 16” except a “Sweet 13”.

In addition to going to the synagogue, some attend schools that teach Jewish preachings, such as the Torah.

Wach said, “We learn more of the things that come with being jewish, like morals. It’s fun learning about the stories in the Torah [because] then we see how they relate to real life and how we view certain things.”

For many, parents are the determining factor when it comes to beliefs.

Fox said, “I am Jewish because my parents are Jewish.”

Although Judaism is practiced in many different forms, they all share the same beliefs of working towards building a closer relationship with God.