Traditions honoured by real Jews

True Jews honour many traditions, many of which are deeply rooted in religion and culture. Here are the main ones.

Shabbat (Sabbath)

  • Celebration. Shabbat begins on Friday evening with sunset and ends on Saturday evening with the appearance of three stars in the sky. It begins with prayer and the lighting of candles.
  • Rest and Rest. During this time, any kind of work is forbidden and Jews devote time to family, prayer and rest.
  • Special meals. Traditional foods such as challah (sweet braided bread) and wine for kiddush (consecration) are eaten during Shabbat.

Other Jewish holidays

  • Passover. Celebrates the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. During Passover, bread and other leavened foods are not eaten and matzah is eaten instead.
  • Hanukkah. The Feast of Lights, which lasts for eight days. Candles are lit on a Chanukiah (special candle holder) and latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (doughnuts) are eaten.
  • Rosh Hashanah. The Jewish New Year, a time for reflection and repentance. Apples with honey are eaten to make the year sweet.
  • Yom Kippur. The Day of Atonement, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, which includes 25 hours of fasting and prayer.

Brit milah

  • Circumcision. This is a religious rite performed on the eighth day after the birth of a boy. It symbolises the covenant between God and Abraham.

Bar and bat mitzvah

  • The transition into adulthood. At age 13 for boys (bar mitzvah) and at age 12 for girls (bat mitzvah), the transition to religious and social responsibility is celebrated.

Kashrut (Kosher rules)

  • Dietary laws. Jews follow special dietary laws that prohibit the consumption of pork, shellfish, and other non-kosher foods. Also, meat and dairy products may not be mixed.

Jewish prayer

Tefillin and talit: Men (and in some communities, women) wear tefillin (phylacteries) and talit (prayer veil) during morning prayer.

These traditions and rituals play an important role in Jewish life, helping to preserve the cultural and religious identity of the Jewish people.

Restrictions for Shabbat

Shabbat, the Jewish day of rest, imposes a number of restrictions to which traditional Jews adhere. These restrictions are intended to free the day from work and focus on rest, prayer and family time. Here are the basic restrictions for Shabbat:

Work (Melachot):

The main types of work prohibited on Shabbat include lighting a fire, cooking, writing, building, transporting, and more. These types of work are called melachot and are based on the activities required to build the Tabernacle (Mishkan) in the desert (SportsBrief) .

Electricity and appliances:

Switching electrical appliances such as lights, televisions, computers and telephones on and off is forbidden. Many Jews are helped by timers that turn lights on and off automatically.


Cooking food over a fire and heating it in the normal sense is forbidden. Therefore, food is cooked before Shabbat begins. Special devices such as Shabbat cookers are used to keep food warm.


Jews are careful not to use vehicles. Movement is limited to walking, usually within a Jewish neighbourhood (eruv) that is designated for that purpose.

Writing and drawing:

Any form of writing, drawing or painting is also forbidden, which includes the use of pens, pencils and even pressing keys on a keyboard.

Monetary transactions:

Conducting business, paying bills, and any monetary transactions are forbidden on the Sabbath.

Physical work:

Work that requires physical effort, such as gardening or cleaning the house, is also forbidden.

Use of fire:

Switching a fire on and off, whether it be candles, a fireplace or a cooker, is forbidden. Candles are lit before Shabbat and left burning.