World Religions By Ryan L.

What I Believe

I am Ryan Levitt. I’m 12 years old and I am an older brother. I’m from a family of four plus two hamsters, one named Bo and the other named Bobby. My mom and dad are from America which makes me American too but we live in Singapore. I have lived in Singapore all my life and my mom and dad have lived in Singapore for 18 years. Our family normally visits California to see the rest of our family every summer.

I am Jewish which means I am having a Bar Mitzvah soon which is when I am 13. A Bar Mitzvah is when you basically become an ‘adult’ in our Jewish community. To have a Bar Mitzvah you have to study a lot Hebrew so you can understand the torah portion you are going read. The torah is what we read off of each week. It is basically the Jewish bible. The classes I attend to study my torah portion are twice a week. One class is on Wednesday which is 45 minutes long. My second class I go to is on Sunday which is 3 hours long. Also we go to a service called Shabbat every Friday. During Shabbat we sing prayers and spend time together as a community. We also say prayers over bread and wine and grape juice during Shabbat. We have Shabbat to celebrate the rest day of Saturday.

A belief I have from being a Jew is that god was the creator of our world and us. This belief is important to me because it helps answer/comfort my question of how humans and the earth were made. The story that we believe is that god each day of our week made the earth. Each day god added to his creation for instance on the first day he made soil and second the sea and so on; but on the sixth day he rested. This is why we rest too on Saturday and celebrate Shabbat.

Another belief I have is that I should try my very best to be an active member in my Jewish community. This is important to me because being active in a community shows others how you are having a role in your community. If you're not active in a community your community might think you don't care that much about being with them. Also later when I have my Bar Mitzvah I’m going to have to be active since I’m becoming an ‘adult’ in my community. So it will be better for me to start earlier than later.

I am proud to be Jewish and to be a part of something bigger than me. I like to have the responsibilities of being in a Jewish community and to have a ‘second family’ to go to. My family and friends are excited for my up coming Bar Mitzvah where I get to become an ‘adult’ in my community. Later in life I hope to find a new community to be a part of and to keep my Jewish traditions alive.


Why is the Cow Sacred?

  • What chose the cow?
  • Why a cow and not another animal?
  • How is the cow treated?Why?

In the Hindu religion cows are seen as sacred animals; but have you ever asked yourself why? Well there are many reasons to why a cow is sacred. One main reason is in the Hindu religion the status of mother is moved to goddess. That is why the cow is sacred it is the mother of the universe.

First, the cow is useful in many ways. For instance the cow produces dairy which allows you to have milk, cheese, butter, etc. Dairy is high in calcium and protein. Dairy is also the source of Oja which gives strength and immunity. Another example is the cow can help in the the fields by pulling the plough and also be useful for traveling goods. Finally, the cow produces dung which can be used for fuel and fertilizer. Cow dung can also be mixed with mud so then it can be plastered on the wall to withstand extreme cold and hot weathers.

Second, the cow has a main role in Hindu religion. For example some ceremonies use the cow as a center role. In the Yagna ceremony cow dung is burned to purify the air. In the Vedic ritual a healing drink is made called Panchamrit. Some ingredients used are milk, yogurt, ghee to make the Panchamrit. Another example is, the deities also use the cows or their purposes also. Lord Krishna grew up as a herder for the cows. Also when he plays his flute he would dance among the cows. Lord Shiva used the cows as his most trusted vehicle. The cow's name who pulled the wagon was Nandi, the sacred bull.

Finally, the cow is treated in many ways for being so superior to life for Hindus. For instance, the cow is put into the streets to forage for itself. That is why you can see many roaming freely cows in India. You can even see some cows in the busiest streets of Delphi and Mumbai. When these cows are in the streets some cows would be hand feed and pampered plus decorated. Another example is, cows are protected plus cared for in India. So if you kill a cow it is considered a sin. Killing a cow is also illegal in most states of india.

In conclusion, the cow provides many useful resources and plays a big role in the Hindu religion. The cow is protected and cared for in India. And is seen as a caretaker of her people. These are some reasons to why the cow is sacred in the Hindu religion.

Left: Showing of cow roaming in the streets. Middle: Religion using cow. Right: Dairy products from cow.

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