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Q: Jewish Customs ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Jewish Customs
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: weightmann70-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 08 Jul 2006 22:32 PDT
Expires: 07 Aug 2006 22:32 PDT
Question ID: 744586
Why did Job(Hebrew Testament)after he lost all of his animals and was
informed that his children were all dead, tear his robe and shave his
Subject: Re: Jewish Customs
Answered By: politicalguru-ga on 09 Jul 2006 02:29 PDT
Dear Weightmann70, 

I am not sure that Job, a book that is considered by biblical scholars
to be one of the most ancient books in the Bible, could reflect Jewish
customs today.

However, tearing up the cloths is traditionally considered symbol of
mourning. Shaving the head might have been so in the days that the
book of Job has been written, but since then it is now customary in
Judaism actually not to shave during the initial period of mourning -
the week of the Shiva.

Caryn Meltz, The Comforts of Mourning in Judaism 

In both cases, the symbolic acts define one's transformation for the
everyday and mundane to the ceremonial mourning period - one usually
has hair, only war captives and prisoners have no hair, but in this
case, one shaved his hair (or nowadays in Judaism: in the everyday,
one shaves in the morning to look respectable for work, etc. - during
th mourning period one physically distinguishes himself from the
people who carry on with their every day lives). The same for
clothing: tearing one's clothing as an act of separating one from the
very notion of "normal" life.

Jewish Mourning Rituals

See also: 
Book of Job

I hope this answers your question. Please contact me if you need any
clarification on this answer before you rate it.
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