“The pure righteous do not complain of the dark, but increase the light; they do not complain of evil, but increase justice; they do not complain of ignorance, but increase wisdom.”
Rav Kook (20th century Rabbi)
The Jewish that believe themselves to be descended from a Semitic tribe that originated in the land of Canaan in the Middle East. Their early history is told in the Hebrew scriptures which recount how God promised to Abraham, a trader and leader of a nomadic tribe, that his descendants would be the father of a great nation. Abraham’s grandson Jacob had 12 sons who became ancestors of the twelve tribes of Israel. They were enslaved in Egypt and the book of Exodus tells how they were liberated under the leadership of Moses. For many years they wandered in the wilderness, during which time God revealed to Moses the Torah, or Law, which constitutes the Jewish way of life. After Moses’ death the tribes eventually conquered the Promised Land with the help of God. Study and interpretation of the Torah is an integral part of Jewish life. It covers family relationships, social interaction and good commercial practice, as well as setting out the religious rituals that are still celebrated today. In the modern world the vast majority of Jews are less than fully observant and there is a broad spectrum within the Jewish community from orthodox, to reform, to entirely secular.
Customs and practices
The Jewish Sabbath begins on Friday evening at sunset and is an important time when families gather for the Shabbat meal. Orthodox Jews will not drive or carry out domestic chores during the Sabbath. There are five festivals on which observant Jews are forbidden to work. The New Year (Rosh Hashanah) falls in the autumn and is followed ten days later by the most solemn day of the year, the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The other major festivals are known as the three pilgrim festivals: Passover (Pesach) in the spring, Pentecost (Shavuot) which occurs seven weeks later and Tabernacles (Sukkot) which takes place in the autumn. Jewish food laws are highly complicated, prohibiting certain animals and shellfish. Acceptable animals must be slaughtered in such a way as renders them kosher.
Jewish Community in Lincoln
There are two separate Jewish communities in Lincoln. One of which is a Lincolnshire Jewish Community, based at Jews Court, Steep Hill, Lincoln.
The other community is the Lincoln Independent Minyan who meet at least once a month on a Friday evening at 6.30pm in the hall of St George’s Church in Swallowbeck.
To know more about these group as the Chaplain a copy of place of worship directory.
Jewish student group
There is a Facebook group for Jewish students at university of Lincoln looking out for Jewish students groups and a place to meet friends.