Religion and Faith
Religion is a human phenomenon that unites cultural, social and personal belief systems into a meaningful whole. It provides feelings of security and helps form our personal, social and cultural identity.
Religion helps shape society by dictating rituals - shared behaviors that bind us to others and are periodically and predictably repeated. Rituals bring people together and reinforce their common understanding of the world.
Religious components generally include a community of believers; these share a common myth that combines abstract cultural values with some kind of historic reality. These myths offer explanations for the origin of the universe and the human race. They deal with birth and creation, success and failure, death and life. The religious experience encompasses something more than everyday reality – holiness.
Immigrants who came to Israel with a long and rich Jewish heritage retained the traditions of prayer from their homelands. Diverse ethnic traditions guide the melodies, the pronunciation and the style of leadership in each house of worship. To accommodate this diversity, each ethnic group gathers separately. For this reason, we sometimes find, even in small communities, more than one synagogue.