Judaism is one of the oldest of the world's religions, a description for a race of people and a way of life whose believers can be found all over the world. Jews follow the beliefs of Jewish Law, found in the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible) and the Talmud. The Law governs areas such as diet, worship, marital relations, etc.
Jewish Faith in Ireland
The earliest reference to Jews in Ireland was in the year 1079, when the Annals of Inisfallen record: “Five Jews came from over sea with gifts to Tairdelbach [king of Munster], and they were sent back again over sea.” The first recorded synagogue in Ireland was established by Portuguese Jewish merchants during the mid-seventeenth century, on Crane Lane in Dublin's city centre. Subsequently, the Dublin Jewish population was swelled firstly by immigrants from Germany in the early nineteenth century, and later from the Russian Federation at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Historically the Dublin Jewish community has always been fully integrated into wider society, and has been well-represented in politics, and in the fields of medicine, science, commerce, the Arts and sports. Having peaked at approximately 5,000 during the 1930s, the Jewish population of Dublin currently numbers about 1,000, with a number of families settling here in recent years.
Words of Faith
Jewish people believe in the Torah, which was the whole of the laws given to the Israelites at Sinai. Jews daily lives are governed by laws outlined by God and legal books written by Rabbis who determine the law as it applies to life in each new place and time. In the Torah, God tells Jewish people to follow his 613 commandments known as mitzvahs to connect with their faith.
Much of Jewish prayer consists of reciting the written services aloud in synagogue.
Praying in public affirms that a person is a member of a community, and when they do so, an individual puts themselves into the context of other Jews, and to some extent puts their own particular situation aside to put the community first.
It's also an act of togetherness with Jewish people who are doing the same all around the world.
And attending regular services, and following the order of the prayer book, is a valuable spiritual discipline, and a mechanism that enables a person to spend time with God on a regular basis.
Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have
H. Schachtel (Rabbi)