Summary Lesson 45: “The Family Is Ordained Of God”
- Family Importance for Jews and Latter-day Saints: Even with most theological differences, family is one of Joseph’s and Judah’s strongest similarities. The Bible appears to be more concerned with social and family relations than with individual ones, and thus puts more emphasis on being a good neighbor than it does on friendship. The Bible also warns against false friendship, saying that people might be attracted to a person solely because of his wealth, and not out of motives of respect.
- Sabbath, a Family Ritual: Sabbath’s begins with a weekly pouring of “kosher wine” by the eldest male in the family. He will say a blessing, take a sip of the wine and then each family member partakes thereafter. Another part of the Sabbath’s beginning is to bless a piece of broken bread. Again, the eldest male partakes first and the rest of the family partakes thereafter.
- Responsibilities of Man, Woman, Children: “‘Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward’ (Psalm 127:3). In Jewish tradition, the central purpose of marriage is to have children . . . they are the hope and the promise of continuing life. “Responsibilities of a man, a woman and of children are stated in the scriptures, Talmudic and oral traditions. In many religious Jewish families, the father blesses his wife and children on a weekly basis.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Woman’s Beauty: “The Talmud teaches that it is a woman’s duty to beautify herself so as to appear pleasing to her husband. The rabbis said: ‘A woman beautifies herself by powdering herself, by parting her hair and leaving it loose over her shoulders, and by applying rouge to her face.’ Said Rav Hisda . . . ‘Even your mother . . . even your grandmother . . . even a woman on the verge of the grave.’ Though the talmudic attitude toward the use of cosmetics is basically favorable, it is combined with warnings against its utilization for immoral purposes. Furthermore, cosmetics were not permitted during periods of mourning.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Sanctity of Family: Although there are many variances in Jewish religious interpretations and worship expressions, the family is always the central holding point. The sanctity of family is why Jews–even unobservant–always want to remain Jews. Latter-day Saints share that perspective. Even to His children that wander away from the path leading to salvation, He is still “Father” in Heaven.