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In the Hindu religion, family is known to be very central to this religion. The main building block of the Hindu society is known to be the extended or joint family which is known to comprise of three or even four generations that live together. Family to the Hindu society is a social institution which is an integral part of the illusory world. The women are known to communally cook and also share the domestic responsibilities and the men usually provide pooled income to these families (Kim, 2000).
Elders in these Hindu religion usually take the important decisions and on the bases of their life experience offer great guidance to the younger members of the society. In the Hindu families property is always passed from a father to a son and the men are known to make most of the decisions although the older women always carry considerable influence in these extended families. When the women are married they are known to join the families of their husbands although they are still expected to maintain contact with their own families (Kim, 2000).
The Hindu scripture is known to have extensively elaborated and defined the dynamics of the expected relationships in the families. As an example, a grandchild is allowed to joke and tease with their grandparents in a very familiar way, which is not permissible with the mother or father. Various relatives are always given specific terms of address unlike in the westernized countries where uncle or aunt refer to an entire host of family relatives and also family friends (Barbara, 2004).
The extended family in the Hindu religion traditionally provides support and proper shelter for the disabled, for the elderly, and also the less well off in their society. The children are also expected to repay their debt that is due to their parents by giving them support in their old age and retirement. A very important feature of the Hindu family life is known to be the inter-dependence among the family members. Marriage in this society is defined to be a wide religious and social obligation, other than just being a mere relationship among partners. The entire extended family usually provides very considerable emotional and practical support; this is usually the case when young children are born. There is an advantage on that marital stability is not entirely inordinately dependent on the state of the emotional ties of the couple and this is because they are well supported by the entire society (Editors of Hinduism Today, 2007).
Hinduism religion has neither a solitary scripture nor a common doctrine as a foundation of its different teachings. Hinduism is known to place much importance on orthopraxy than on orthodoxy and this encourages relative freedom of their thoughts within very tightly defined morality and codes of conduct. Hindu religion has been able to succeed more than the western traditions in synthesizing their religion with their philosophy and also religious commitment with reflective search for the truth. Hinduism does not wholly pressure its followers to declare commitment to a given creed, belief, or faith (Barbara, 2004).
The Hinduism tradition is referred to as Santana-dharma which is the eternal law which governs every person regardless of their belief. These are the truths in relation to universal law that were revealed divinely to the ancient sages. Most of these aeons were passed from one generation to the other orally and were later on written down at the start of Kali-yuga as the memories of the Hindu old people began to deteriorate. Hinduism has been known to develop without rejecting the parent traditions because these were assimilated and modified into the recent schools of thought. As an example, the Vedic idea of sacrifice and the philosophies of Yoga and Sankhya have been modified and assimilated into the current school of Vedanta. However Hinduism is known to reject the doctrines which do not accept scriptural authority (Kim, 2000).
The Hinduism religion is focused entirely to the cultivation of moral and spiritual character. This is because from the traditions of the religion, the Hindus are allowed to enquire and ask questions about the religion. In the case where one doubts they are allowed to express themselves without any fear. These questionings are not considered to be sacrilegious in any way. All the sincere and honest questions are always addressed by the elders of Hinduism and very rational answers are given. This rational inquiry about Hinduism has led to the development and accommodation of the six main systems of philosophy (Kim, 2000).
Hinduism is known to encourage faith in the Holy Scriptures it has and gives complete scope to motive out all the truths that are contained in their scriptures. Knowledge is derived from the genuine spiritual experience and is accorded utmost importance. The ultimate spiritual goal of the Hinduism religion is immortality and can never be attained by only studying the scriptures. Spiritual knowledge that is experiential is accorded much importance than just the theoretical knowledge. There are six main systems of the Hindu philosophy which include Yoga, Sankhya, Nyaya, Mimamsa, Vaisheshika and Vedanta (Editors of Hinduism Today, 2007).
The Hindu community puts much importance on the obligation for moral and ethical behavior. Their scripture clearly indicates that a Hindu should always observe ethical and moral laws from the time of their birth till their death. Most scholars have rightly indicated that Hinduism has been known to be a way of life. All events that are important in the life of a Hindu are influenced directly by this Hinduism religion. These include birth, marriage, eating habits, naming of the babies, duties of a married life, giving the initial hair-cut, child’s introduction to studies, initial intake of solid food, death and also the post-mortem rituals. All these should be sanctified and then turned into sacraments (Barbara, 2004).
Judaism on the other hand emphasizes much on the teaching of their rituals. Their children are supposed to be taught the rituals and also values to help them in underpinning the rituals in order to make them very good and important people in the society. There is the Yeshiva education which children should be taught for example the giving of thanksgiving before the intake of food is really emphasized. This is followed by the teaching that this practice of thanksgiving is to instill gratitude in their hearts. The Judaism religion enhances that knowledge is deemed important only when it includes moral teaching of behavior and moral deeds. The development of character and the attainment of moral behavior are deeply rooted in the Jewish teachings and concern the educators and parents in general (Michael, 2005).
The Jewish community has six pillars of character which are accorded very well with the Jewish expectations. These include caring, trustworthiness, honesty, reliability, integrity, loyalty, respect, courtesy, civility, tolerance and acceptance, decency, autonomy and dignity, responsibility, self-restraint, pursuit of excellence, accountability, equity, impartiality, and fairness. These can also be defined to be guides to moral behavior and deeds that are taught by Judaism religion. The parents in the Judaism religion are expected to teach their children and impart knowledge of mitzvoth and middot in their children especially in the practical situations and also through the means of traditional tales (Steve & Gladys, 1994).
Judaism is well described as a form of extended family. The Jews feel a strong sense of real connectedness to each other which everyone finds hard to explain, understand or define. In their traditions, this kind of interconnectedness was described as “peoplehood” or “nationhood” but these descriptions have since lost meaning. As it is in a family, the Jews do not always concur with each other and they often criticize and argue with each other. They however hold each other up with the highest principles with the understanding of all shortcomings and that any person’s shortcoming will be held against every member of the Jewish community and family (Michael, 2005).
However, when anyone from outside the family criticizes the a family member unfairly or also the entire family they are quick and fast to together join opposition to the act of unfair criticism of one of them. When one of the members of the family is persecuted, the whole family feels the pain and they act together as a family. On the other hand, when one of the members of the family is caught engaging in things that are shameful, illegal or immoral; the whole family feels the shame and they feel that it reflects on them all. The entire Jewish community suffered shame at the scandals of Jack Abramoff, Monica Lewinsky and Bernie Madoff because of this reason of interconnectedness of the family of Judaism religion. On the other hand, an act of accomplishing of something significant by one of them they all feel proud and take it as success to the entire Jewish family. They take pride in their scientists such as Albert Einstein; artists such as Adam Sandler; and political leaders such as Joe Lieberman (Michael, 2005).
There are also three pillars under which all things are built upon and these are knowledge, symbols and rituals. Family and the life cycle of the individuals are very important and are taken very seriously by the Jewish community. From birth, circumcision, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, baby naming, marriage and finally death are well recognized by the Judaism religion (Steve & Gladys, 1994).
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