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Is Sikhism Monotheistic or Polytheistic?

In Blog, Religion, Sikhism by Alice0 Comments

Relatively speaking Sikhism is an especially young religion, dating back only to the 15th century; it’s much younger than its more widespread counterpart Christianity, for example.

It was started by Guru Nanak Dev who was the primary and arguably most well-known member of the Ten Gurus of Sikhism. He started the religion as a direct retort to his, and a small but fast-growing faction of like-minded individuals, dissatisfaction with the state and practice of 15th century Hinduism.

Guru Nanak Dev created a religion that cherry-picked from both Hinduism and Islam and introduced the concept of one deity, one God, and pushed forward many of the concepts of Hinduism that Guru Nanak Dev and the Ten Gurus of Sikhism found backward and outdated. The core values of Hinduism were quickly cemented and the religion fast gained followers, taking those followers and teachings from both the Hindu and Islamic religions and scriptures, respectively.

The Concept of One God

The concept of one true God is a core principle of Sikhism. The religion believes in one deity. He is all-knowing, eternal. He created the sun, the moon, the rain and the universe. He is both judge and jury and has the power to create and indeed destroy all. He was never born, he has and always will exist. He is neither good nor bad. He just is and always will be.

This concept of the one true God, as they believe, applies only to God, it does not apply to human beings who, in the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev, and Sikhism, are born inherently good. A contradiction of sorts, but an important distinction between the celestial being and his earth-born creations is made with such a statement.

The Worship of Idols

Followers of Sikhism give gifts and food to inanimate objects and idols in the belief that God resides in them and that praise, prayer, and worship of these objects will result is a direct intermediary to the celestial above. A vessel for direct communication with God, if you like. These objects are treated with the up-most respect and revelry and these practices inform the lives of millions of followers of Sikhism, day-in, day-out.

These actions and protocols are inherently polytheistic in origin, of course. Indeed these actions in Christianity would be considered blasphemous. A modern day example of idol worship in Sikhism is the custom of washing statues with milk, this is a ritual that continues year-in-year-out and is a fitting example of how Sikhs still hold on to these beliefs and teachings from Hinduism.

The core beliefs and principals of Sikhism most definitely define the religion as monotheistic, however, it’s not completely black and white as Sikhs still to this day celebrate many of the major events in the polytheistic calender, such as; Diwali, Hola Mahalla, and Vaisakhi and engage in the aforementioned idol worship. It is accurate to define the religion as monotheistic, but the religion has many, many distinct differences between the other two big monotheistic religions, Islam and Christianity. Enough differences that some find it hard to categorize it as one or the other.

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Do Jewish believe in heaven?

In Blog, Jewish by Alice0 Comments

The afterlife is seldom discussed in Jewish religious texts such as the Torah and the Talmud. This naturally amounts to an inquiry into another aspect; do Jewish people believe in heaven?

 

There is no definitive answer to that question.

The basic facts on Judaism- Jewish faith- revolve around one God that has
established a covenant with His people. A written code of conducts prescribes an ideal lifestyle that pretty much covers relations of main with fellow man and man with God.

Based on this there is a difference between moral and immoral, right and wrong, good and evil. Those that live a righteous life will be rewarded while the sinful will earn their judgment.

Followers adhere to the ideal way of life and look forward to a period of
universal peace and prosperity. This period has been described in prophets’
visions. However, there is much speculation and discussion as to the concept
and existence of heaven. After all it is supposed to be God’s refuge.

Jewish faith relies heavily on religious texts. The application of the many
tenets prescribed therein defines daily life and aspiration towards the
Messianic Age. The concept of heaven or hell has remained a deeply shrouded
mystery for adherents of Jewish faith.

The oldest monotheistic religion teaches One God that is just and righteous.
The concept of good and evil as two opposing sides will ultimately lead to the
idea of consequences for one’s actions.


Good deeds are to be rewarded and exemplified while evil acts are to be paid in full with unbridled punishment and discouraged. Rabbinical scholars ascertain this but there is very little guideline as to a specific place or heaven that the righteous are supposed to reside in.

In order to understand the concept of heaven there needs to be a vivid
description of its defining elements bit by bit. Religious texts have little
material on this subject leaving much explanation to folklore.

Folklore itself barely fills the gap but it is the only explanation that has
been passed on from one generation to the next. Perhaps the absence of a real proof is simply a way to guide more earnest efforts to seek out the truth.

Heaven as a concept has been used by many religious institutions as an
evangelizing tool to win converts. Jewish faith accepts new converts but does
not hold an active mission that is intended to bring in more converts. This
defining aspect holds some evidence as to why the religious texts seem to steer clear of this issue.

jewish-heaven
Evangelizing missions hold a special allure to the audience- faithful converts
are to be supposedly rewarded in heaven. The vile wrongdoers are to be punished in hell.

The fact of the matter is that there is no outright consensus as to whether
there is a heaven. That alone leaves plenty of room for people to make logical
conclusions based on other religious tenets.

The concept of an afterlife remains a heavily shrouded affair when it comes to
Judaism. Its mystery is best left to the all- Knowing Creator.

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Do Jewish Celebrate Easter?

In Blog by Alice0 Comments

Easter is one of the most known holy days that many Christians all over the world celebrate. It is also commonly known as Pascha in Latin. This is a festival and celebration whereby people celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who was believed to be the Messiah. Many questions have been raised about Easter, but the most common one has been whether the Jews celebrate Easter. Well, do Jewish people celebrate Easter? We are going to critically look at this question and come up with a defined factual answer about it.

First of all, we have to realize that the Jews are people who believe in their own rules, norms and regulations. They believe that the laid down and stipulated rules and laws should be followed and adhered to maximally. Having known these facts, we also have to realize that the Jews disputed the messiahship of Jesus Christ and hence did not believe in him. This, therefore, means that the Jews do not celebrate Easter because of the dispute that existed between them and messiahship of Jesus Christ.

As per Jewish conviction, a saviour is a critical personage who is bound to administer all Jews. All through Jewish history, there have been various cases that some individual was the saviour; notwithstanding, standard Jewish view declares that the Messiah has not yet arrived. The extraordinary and printed prove referred to by Christians to help the conviction that Jesus was the saviour is either insignificant, imaginary or a distortion of Jewish convictions, as indicated by Jewish researchers.

In spite of the fact that Jesus’ part as the saviour has been for quite some time debated, it is by and large acknowledged that Jesus was Jewish. The occasions celebrated by Easter happened amid Passover, which is the reason the two occasions frequently correspond in the current age

Similarly, as Christians are getting ready for Easter, Jews are getting ready for The Passover. While Christians comprehend the agony and triumph that is remembered amid Easter, they may not understand that amid The Passover, Jews are likewise recalling enduring and triumph. This Jewish occasion honours the Jewish opportunity from servitude. It is known as The Passover in view of the ignoring of the homes that were set apart with the blood of the sheep. God had requested Moses to request that the Israelites relinquish a sheep and eat it with Matzah (unleavened bread). They were added to stamp their doorposts with the blood of the sheep.

do-jewish-celebrate-easter

Conclusively, we have finalized that the Jews do not really celebrate Easter. This is because of the controversies and hatred that existed between them and Jesus Christ. They had a different view and different expectations about the messiah and therefore the death of Jesus Christ was not worth a celebration for them. When the Christians celebrate Easter the Jewish people celebrate the Passover at the same time. Since the Jews are people who adhere to their traditions, they still up to now do not celebrate Easter. It is considered as a Christian affair, not a Jewish affair.

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Where did Christianity originate?

In Blog, Christianity by Alice0 Comments

Religion is a way of life that involves belief in a certain extraordinary creature.People who obtain such belief are said to be religious.In the world today,there exists several religions among different groups of people from diverse countries and backgrounds with an estimated number to be four thousand two hundred religions worldwide.The term religion is at times used interchangeably with the word faith,which means a strong belief in something or someone.

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Christianity,being the most dominant religion,has most of the followers worldwide.According to theories and the christians,Christianity began way long ago,brought about by a son to a supernatural being called God.According to the holly book,back in times,God created the entire planet earth,putting everything visible into existence including plants and animals.After some time,He saw the need to take care of the creation.

As a result, He molded,from soil,a creature He called Man.As time went by,God saw the need to create a companion for the man.A creature that would later help in procreation.God put man into deep sleep upon which He,from him He removed one of his ribs that He used to create another creature that He named woman.periods went by and as man moved on his daily activities,the companion,woman,met a snake(serpent),a creature that was said to have been chased from heaven by God.It was during this meet up that the serpent tempted and cheated the woman into eating a fruit that their creator had forbidden them from consuming.
This disobedient act by the humans annoyed their creator,leading to their chase away from the garden.Upon this sin,God,the creator was so annoyed by the human act and pronounced punishment and suffering to all humanity.However,He saw it good o bring forth another holy existing being as a way of forgiveness and repentance to all humanity.

God sent a Holly being,his only son by the name Jesus to a mission to the world to bring together the broken relationship through forgiveness of sins.

This was the advent of Christianity.

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When do German Shepherds ears stand up?

In Blog by Alice0 Comments

Perhaps the most common question asked about German Shepherds. When do German Shepherds ears stand up? Well, it can definitely vary with each German Shepherd, so you really don’t need to worry about whether your Shepherds ears have stood up yet.

One thing to remember is that if your German Shepherd is not a pure bred, aka if they are a mongrel or mixed breed, your German Shepherds ears might not stand up. Ever. And this is totally normal, so don’t be concerned if your Shepherds ears don’t stand up. This is a common concern for people who adopt their dog from a shelter and are unaware of their origins. It’s a great way of telling if your dog is a mixed breed, as the German Shepherd genes will often overpower any mixture that has been created.

It’s often a common question to ask whether you should shave your dog. It’s important to get the best balding clippers for your dog.

So, back to the question; at what age would a German Shepherds ear usually stand up?

Generally, between, 14 weeks and 20 weeks old is a good bet.

Don’t be concerned if not, as it can take up to six months for your Shepherds ears to stand up under different circumstances. This isn’t too common for it to be over six months, but we have seen it happen in more than one occasion.

Of course, it can happen a lot earlier than that too. For example, this German Shepherds ears are starting to stand up at only 11 weeks old, and they probably would have been fully up well before she reached 14 weeks of age;

Honestly, we do not think this is a good idea and the majority of German Shepherd owners will not like the idea of not letting a dogs ears stand up naturally. If you are thinking of just doing this for the aesthetic look, then you really need to reconsider your options as this isn;t usually a viable option for a dog unless it is in pain or discomfort. We do not condone or encourage this kind of behaviour.

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When do German Shepherds stop growing?

In Blog by Alice0 Comments

One of the more common questions asked online is when do German Shepherds stop growing? This is mainly from Shepherd owners who have had their dog since a puppy, and now at 6 or 7 months they’re realizing just how big they can grow!

Many people think that the normal age that a German Shepherd will stop growing is at the end of it’s first year. This is pretty standard with most dogs, see the growth chart below;

 

when-do-german-shepherds-stop-growing

Courtesy of Total German Shepherd.

Although this is what would be considered regular, we have to say from experience that we don’t believe this to be fully correct. When we got our first German Shepherd, we didn’t really consider her an ‘adult’ until she reached 2 years of age, and even then she was still as playful as she was as a puppy. In terms of growth, there was definitely a significant different between her at 1 year of age and at 2 years of age.

Of course, for any German Shepherd owner the experience will be different, but German Shepherds to tend to grow extremely quickly throughout the end of the first year as the chart above has stated. Don’t be overwhelmed by the growth of your Shepherd between the ages of 6 months and a year; it’s totally normal!

This super cool video documents the size growth of a German Shepherd from 5 weeks all the way through to the end of the second year, which is when the owner really saw her growth stopping. Shepherds will generally grow to around 80lbs in weight, so if you think that this might be an issue for your, there are plenty of other dog breeds out there looking for a home!

My German Shepherd is bigger than this..

Well, don’t worry, this is totally normal. We’ve seen Shepherds as big as 100+lbs and they’ve all been totally well and healthy, so don’t be concerned if your buddy is growing at a higher rate than what you’ve expected!

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Are German Shepherds good with kids?

In Blog by Alice0 Comments

A common question asked about German Shepherds is regarding their temperament; are German Shepherds good with kids?

Due to their size, many people assume that it’s not safe to have their children around a German Shepherds the majority of the time. They do grow to be pretty big dogs, so many people opt for smaller toy dogs and terriers in assumption that this would be a safer option for their children.

We have to say, that these people are wrong.

German Shepherds were originally bred to be extremely obedient, and this is in their nature. German Shepherds as a rule are one of the most obedient dogs on the planet. They thrive on the ability to love and protect the members of their family; their master and most certainly young children, whom they feel a great deal of protective nature over.

Of course, there are exceptions to the rule due to the way certain Shepherds are treated throughout their upbringing. As one of the more popular dogs throughout Europe, unfortunately this means that there are a good number of Shepherds that don’t get the love and nurturing that is necessary for their wellbeing. Though if you’ve had your German Shepherd from birth, the likelihood is that they would never do anything to bring harm to you or your little ones.

Here’s three tips to ensure your German Shepherd is nurtured correctly;

Establish dominance

A German Shepherd is looking to be part of your ‘pack’, and wants you to lead the pack in a firm way. The animal instinct of the German Shepherd needs you to maintain dominance and spend time training them how to behave. No, please don’t take this as being overly firm with your Shepherd as it’s entirely unnecessary for you to physically touch your German Shepherd to establish dominance.

Make them a family member as a puppy

Although not entirely necessary, it is far easier to integrate a German Shepherd into your family as a puppy. Through this, they will learn to be around your children and grow an attachment to them.

Walk them.. Often!

The majority of dogs will need walking, but a German Shepherd is one of the most active dogs that you’ll find. Keep them properly exercised and you’ll help release and tension or frustration that they have, creating a happier dog.

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Where do Jewish worship?

In Blog, Jewish by Alice0 Comments

Israel has a very rich history and culture, making it among the most popular holiday locations globally. Also recognized as the “Holy Land,” it’s where Christianity–the world’s biggest religion, representing a 3rd of the world’s population–was born and established. This is why many complete Jewish heritage tours include journeys to numerous synagogues in Israel, typically in Safed and Wadi Qelt. Where do jewish worship? Well, the answer is simple; the synagogue.

Apparently, the population of Jews in Kerala has decreased rapidly after the foundation of the Jewish State of Israel, the Jewish inhabitants moved out of India to settle there. Currently, the Jewish citizens form a minority section in the state of Kerala with a count of 17.
Earlier, it is believed that only 7 Synagogues entered Cochin, the Jew Town, although now known as the Jewish Synagogue or “Pardesi” is the only surviving Synagogue functioning till date. It depicts a recollection of the colonial times and is of immense historical value to Cochin’s history. This synagogue was built in the 5th or 6th century and it is one of the most former ones around the world.


It’s interesting to see that located in the center of Kerala, where a thriving Jewish community still resides. The Synagogue was raised by these Jewish inhabitants. Thus, this place is worshiped them and it was otherwise called as Pardesi Synagogue by the locals, which means a synagogue belonging to foreigners or outsiders. Pardesi means Foreigner in Hindi language. The synagogue still shelters the Old Testament and the ancient copper plates that are registered as the grants of opportunity left by the rulers of Kochi.
Unfortunately, the synagogue was partly ruined in the 1662 AD wars, however was afterward reconstructed by the Dutch. The clock tower from the 18th century is standing tall within the premises and the exquisite hand printed blue Chinese tiles offer a notable sight. This famous synagogue also houses several finely wrought silver and gold crowns presented by the respective patrons of the nation. This place is a unique blend of religion and architecture and hence, many people are interested in visiting this pilgrimage.
The Jewish Synagogue stays open from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 3 pm to 5pm daily and stays closed on Saturdays and Jewish holidays. This place has become a significant place of worship for Jews across the world. The visitors or devotees are expected to come in the Jewish Synagogue shoeless. There is a strict dress code being followed full shirts and diligently – trousers for men and women have to wear skirts that are long covering the knee. Video cameras are not allowed.

How to reach

It is located in a small town by the name Mattancherry and hence, is also known as Mattancherry Synagogue. This town is at a distance of around 10 km from Emakulam. There are regular bus and boat services from here to reach Mattancherry. There are regular train services that connect Ernakulam with different parts of the state.
The nearest airport is the Cochin airport. There are various tour operators in South India, which provide packages and give information regarding places to stay. Tourists can arrange e-tickets from home by visiting the sites of tour organizers. If you are not able to register online, then you can contact any good car rental company in Bangalore to get complete package for this destination.

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Do Jewish Eat Pork? 

In Blog by Alice0 Comments

It’s pretty common question to ask; do jewish eat pork? Well, the direct answer is no, jewish people do not eat pork. There are various reasons for this which need to be explained.
The Torah (which is the 5 books of the Mosses that covers all the religious Jewish teachings) states that there are 2 physical signs that mark an animal as land kosher. These are;

1) the ones that chew their own cud

2) the ones that have complete split hooves.

The pig is an animal that have split hooves but does not chew its own cud, hence it is unclean. Jewish people symbolize pigs as the ultimate sign of loathing.


They have certain rules regarding pigs that might not make sense to someone who isn’t familiar with the Jewish culture. Some of these rules are :

1) Avoiding the uttering of its name: Many Jewish people refer to pigs as ‘davar acher’ which stands for ‘another thing’. They prefer saying this instead of saying out ‘pig’ aloud. This is a practice that has been in place since the Talmud times.

2) Preventing the raising of pigs: As per the sages, raising of pigs is prohibited or else the one who raises a pig is bound to be cursed. This is so because pigs cause severe and frequent damage. The Talmud had announced this rule when there was a civil war going on in between Aristobulus and Hyrcanus (known as the Hasmonean brothers).

3) Martyrdom should be preferred rather than eating pork : Antiochus IV, the Syrian-Greek-emperor, during his campaign to outlaw Judaism, sent across his soldiers to Israel so that the Jews would be forced to offer pigs as a sign of sacrifice to the Hellenistic gods and then the same meat would need to be consumed. A 90 year old Jew refused to follow the order and even got beaten up, even though he was given the option to act as if he was consuming the meat. Eventually Matityahu revolted and the country was finally freed from the Hellens.

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Aside from religious reasons, there are some more practical reasons whilst pigs have got a bad reputation as animals. These reasons include;

a) It is a carrier of diseases: Pigs are the main reason for 9 kinds of plague all across the world. These diseases can be easily transferred from a pig to a human. There are some viruses and flus that are the caused by pigs.

b) Pigs spread filth: Pigs have a tendency eat very dirty revolting things and they also wallow about in muck. So Jews believe that consumption of pigs is like inviting filth right inside the homes.

c) They symbolize hypocrisy: Pigs are half kosher. Midrash have derived a comparison in between the pigs and the Roman empire. Just like Romans acted as if they wanted justice but actually they were hiding there signs of corruption behind a fake mask, similarly pigs stick out there hooves while they are resting.

In today’s date, pig is considered to symbolize a bad phase of life. However over a period of time, as per the Moshiach era, the world would be purified and would become at an elevated spiritual level. Then there would be a point of time when the pig meat would be allowed for consumption amongst the Jews.