Everyone knows that in order to truly appreciate something sometimes you have to do without. I think that this can be related to my Catholic faith and studying about the Jewish faith. After reading the book, "To Life", I value my faith that I have much more. It has also helped me to appreciate the Jewish faith. Lastly, it has enlightened my mind with appreciation for the Jewish faith and how it has been a building block for our faith. First of all, the Jewish people have a strong belief in community. On page ten it is quoted, "people before we had a religion." To the Jews this is a very important part of their religion. By following the traditions of their ancestors (Moses, Isaac, Jacob) they believe that they will fulfill their deeds as a Jew. One specific way in which they can fulfill the Jewish tradition is by obeying the Torah. The Torah is the Law or the first five books written by Moses. It is the story of Judaism and that is where most of the history of Judaism comes from. As for the Christians they believe in what they call and "idea-the incarnation of God in Jesus, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as a way of redeeming man from sins." As a Christian I know that our religion comes from roots of Judaism. The Jews just haven't come to understand that Jesus is the Messiah. Secondly, some of the Jewish beliefs that Harold S. Kushner reveals in the book, "To Life" are quite strict and can be a bit of a turnoff to many non-Jews. The Jews believe that you don't have to be in the synagogue to worship. To the Jews, "everything we do can be transformed into a Sinai experience" and the "search for holiness is not confined to a synagogue." These are the quotes that suggest that Jews believe in prayers being done outside of synagogue. Another belief or law Jews have is in regards to food. On page fifty-five it suggests that abiding by kosher is not for the reason of pork spoiling. Instead, for Jews, they have a higher reason. Keeping the rules of kosher allows the Jews to make eating a holy thing. Allowing God to be part of their meals! It states, "The fact is that the rules of keeping kosher have nothing to do with trichinosis or contamination. They have everything to do with taking the process of eating which we share with all other animals and making it a uniquely human activity by investing it with considered ones of permitted and forbidden. Jews also believe that our moral choices we make in our life need to be handled with much maturity and responsibility. As regards to sexual pleasure the Jews have strict laws to this. On page fifty-three Kushner describes Jews having three different ways to react to sexual pleasures or any pleasures. We can yield to our instincts like animals do, suppress them or sanctify them. The Jews sanctify their instincts by keeping sex only for marriage and for the purpose of procreation. A last main belief can be found on page sixty-seven of Jews is that called tzedaka or in English charity. Christians believe that giving is not just the material sense of giving, but giving when it hurts. Christians believe that it doesn't matter how much you give as long as you are giving a generous gift. The Jews believe in tzedaka meaning giving as much money as you can and the more money you give the better and holier you are! Prayer is the last main belief Jews hold in a high degree. The way Kushner describes Jewish prayer is comparing it to Christian prayer. The world's mentality of prayer is: pray whenever you want or need something from God. Kushner describes this as "bribing God" on page 198. He states, "In biblical times, Jews worshipped God with animal sacrifices." Jews believed that "to take worship seriously it had to cast him something." This means that it is not necessarily going to God with all our wants and needs but going to praise him adore him and honor him. Today Jewish prayer is done somewhat differently. Kushner states, "Jewish prayer involves people reciting the same words together." These prayers are done mostly in Hebrew because it is the language of the Jewish people. Now a few differences the Roman Catholic religion and the Jewish faith. First of all, I found the Rabbi to be quite defensive to me. It seemed like he was criticizing the Catholic faith over and over. I respect others religions, but I do have to admit that yes I think mine is the best. The Catholic faith is the best because it is the truth. The truth is proven through Jesus Christ being the Messiah the Jews were and still are waiting for. Jesus came to the earth, suffered, died on a cross and rose from the dead to set us free from our sins. The Jews are still waiting for the Messiah and therefore they have not been able to accept the truth! The Jewish religion believes that Jesus was just a descendant of the King of David with superhuman powers and a good preacher. One of the major differences between the Jewish religion and Catholic is the calendar of each faith. Some events that are extremely important to the Jews are Hanukkah, Passover, Sukkoth, Sabbath and Bar/Bat Mitzvah's. Hanukkah is around the same time as Christmas. It is called the festival of lights, which can be found in Maccabees. Passover can also be parallel to our Easter. The Jews celebrate being freed from Egyptian slavery. Easter is the celebration of Jesus Christ resurrection from the dead and because of his resurrection Catholics are freed from sins and Jesus opened the gates of heaven for us. Sukkoth is also a comparison to Thanksgiving because it is a time the Jews thank God for the gist of the harvest. Bar and Bat Mitzvah's are when the young girl or boy celebrates becoming an adult into the Jewish religion. This can be compared to the Catholic's sacrament of Confirmation. The last major event is the Sabbath day. For Jews the Sabbath day is every Friday night to Saturday. But for Catholics our Sabbath day is Saturday night to Sunday. These days are both days of rest for both religions. The reason they are different is because the interpretation of the "seventh day" listed in the Bible is different for them. Last difference that I found to be quite interesting was the belief of the Jews as regards to the celibate lifestyle. Kushner boldly comes out and says that "There is no virtue in the celibate life" on page sixty-one. I found this extremely odd because I know how much the Catholic values and loves vocations to the priesthood, nuns and consecrated lifestyles. The Catholic Church wouldn't be able to continue if it wasn't for her priests! I just don't understand why they don't value it more! In conclusion to my paper, I would just like to add a little of my feelings about the Jewish faith and the book itself. First of all, I am a very strong Catholic who loves the Catholic faith. I am so happy I was baptized in the Catholic Church. Reading about the Jewish faith allowed me to understand what they believe better and it also increased my knowledge of the Catholic Church. I know that I will need to know this information sometime in life in order to understand different people and their beliefs! To mean the last chapter was the most disappointing because it seemed to slam all of us Catholics and non-Jews. It seemed that Kushner wanted to tell us how to live our lives and practice our religion. I learned that it is not good to push ones religion upon another too much because then it can be disturbing! Therefore, I am going to do my best at accepting others beliefs, but at the same time never forgetting that I have such a special relationship with God…I have Jesus!