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BITS OF CULTURE - Israel
 
Languages
Map
Cultural Values
Main Religion & Death Concepts/Rituals
Health Care Values
Diet
Interesting Facts
 

Languages

Official language:
Arabic
Hebrew

Other language:
English
Russian

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Map


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Cultural Values
  • Family is central to Israeli life, with a great deal of attention given to children .
  • Married children often live near the parents, and expect to care for the elderly parents .
  • Father is traditionally the head of the family, but women have considerable influence in family affairs and decision making .
 
Main Religion & Death Concepts/Rituals
  • Jewish .
  • To leave a body unburied for an extended period of time is considered disrespectful; therefore, in keeping with the principle of k'vod ha-met, Judaism mandates that burial should take place as soon as possible after the death, preferably within 24 hours.
  • When death is imminent, there is a specified ritual to be followed: (1) The vidu'i ("confession") prayer or the Shema (one-line summary of Jewish belief taken from the Book of Deuteronomy: "Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one") is recited by the dying person, and (2) members of the immediate family remain with their loved one until the time of death. People do not enter this world alone nor should they be left alone as they leave this world .
  • From the time of death until the burial, the deceased is never left alone, in keeping with the principle of k'vod ha-met. A guardian (shomer) stays with the deceased, reciting words from the Book of Psalms. Each psalm is a way of giving thanks to God for the gift of life.
  • Jewish funerals are generally held in a funeral home, although sometimes they are held in a cemetery chapel or in the synagogue of the deceased.
  • The body is dressed in plain white shrouds. All Jews are buried in the same type of garment, regardless of wealth, profession, or position in society, as all are equal before God. The casket must be made completely of wood so that the body should not decompose sooner than the coffin.

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Health Care Values

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Diet
  • Kosher rules dictate that only animals with cloven hooves and that chew their cud can be eaten .
  • Slaughtering and preparation must be done in certain ways .
  • Only fish with scales and fins can be eaten and no shellfish .
  • Dairy products cannot be cooked or eaten with meat or poultry


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Interesting Facts
  • Israel is one of the most highly educated countries in the world with the highest number of engineers, scientists and Ph.D's per capita (135 per 10,000).
  • The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola-Israel.
  • Motorola built its largest development center worldwide in Israel.
  • Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.

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