will first explain the holidays I discussed with Josh, and then discuss Josh
growing up in the Jewish culture.
Sabbath and days of awe. The primary, Holy days that nurture personal life
along the way. The Sabbat, on a weekly basis, and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippers,
accomplish their goals primarily by lifting the individual out of a routine that
controls, too often, deadens daily life.” The Sabbat is their weekly ceremony,
Hanukkah, the festival of lights. Hanukkah stands for the temple that burned to
nights and seven days. Therefore that is why they celebrate Hanukkah for six
families are to be fasting, no bread or meat. This last one week. Similar to
adult Jew they know it as a Bar Mitzvah. In order for this to happen a young
road, and Reform being the least practiced.
Josh grew up into the Orthodox beliefs because of his grandparents. Josh’s
mother and father were Conservative. Eventually his mother and father switched
over to the Conservative beliefs. The Orthodox beliefs would show the in the
are three temples in the city of Toledo. B’NAI Israel which is the conservative
temple. Josh attends this temple. JCC, Jewish Community Center, which is the
Reformer temple. And, Etz Chay, the Orthodox temple. As a child his parents
were not strict followers. They didn’t celebrate Sabbat every Friday but did
celebrate all the holidays of Judaism. Josh went Sunday to school every Sunday
and Thursday. At the age of thirteen, Josh celebrated Bar Mitzvah.
The Worship procedures are conducted from the Torah, which is actually the Bible.
The only difference is they read the lessons in Hebrew. Since Josh is not full
practice of Judaism, he has a hard time following along. Since the Jewish
They do not celebrate the birth of Christ, Christmas. I asked Josh did this
effect him growing up?, His peers mostly celebrating Christmas. As it turns out,
his peers were jealous of him. Being able to receive gifts seven days in a row
was very envious of his peers being able to receive their gifts all at once.
celebrated his very first Christmas this past year. He celebrated with his
girlfriend and her family. I asked which celebration was to his liking? “It was
weird for him. I’m not use to the huge family gathering and presents being
candle every night. Hanukkah was more peaceful and subdued” He received a gift
every day though. I asked are the gifts you receive as outrageous as some
spoiled my sister, brother and me. We would receive an encyclopedia the first
day and on the last day we could have received a car.” The other traditional
holidays the Cohens celebrate are Yom Kipper, Rosh Hashanah, and Passover.
Passover is close to the Christian holiday Easter. During Passover they do not
allow that you ate bread or meat. Josh commented on how “His family didn’t go
all out on the fasting, only the true religious take part on the fasting,
Orthodox.” Nevertheless, he told me a story of one of his closet friends
growing up. ” My friend’s family had a separate kitchen called the Kosher
kitchen,meaning no meat. They stocked the kitchen with the normal utensils.
The only difference was, none of the utensils in the Kosher kitchen never
touched meat. All the dishes were prepared in a special way.”
Then I asked him if we could talk about the Holocaust. I didn’t know if this
was a touchy subject with Josh. I had recently viewed Schindler’s List. I had
allot of questions for him on this subject. I basically got Josh’s viewpoint.
In your mind why were the Germans wanting to abolish the Jewish people? “It was
lawyers.” I asked Josh “you are studying to become a lawyer, you graduate this
spring, how can I not stereotype you? Is it in your upbringing to become a
and you have your poor Jews.” “We grew up being constantly reminded of the
Holocaust. My mother’s parents were in the concentration camps and survived.
idea they kept his wife alive until after the fact. He found her in a hospital.
Before his grandparents were taking into custody, the Germans went door to door
looking for children. His grandparents hid his aunt and uncle under the
soldiers shot both of the children in front of his grandparents.” This is the
story he has heard from his parents. His grandparents won’t talk about the
situation. All he sees is the picture of his aunt and uncle. He never met, on
the mantle. His grand father still has a concentration number tattooed on his
arm. “I think this helped us, instead of hurt us. We were like the typical
Jewish community, very closely knit. Everybody helped each other out, the
smartest Jews helped install strong morals and beliefs into the weaker Jews.”
In closing, I think everybody can look at the Jewish Culture and learn. If you
look back into history everybody at one point and time has tried to abolish the
Judaism religion, but they still prevail. It is the strong morals and beliefs
installed in them at an early age that makes them successful. Everything they
have been through, but yet they don’t hold a grudge. They keep moving forward.
Josh said “respect the past, live for today, and build a future.” Also in
closing I would like to thank Josh Cohen to take time out of his busy schedule
to sit and talk to me.