Segregate men and women during worship services
Within Judaism, this practice of separately seating male and female worshippers varies by branch or denomination. In Orthodox synagogues, Jewish men and women sit in separate areas of their own (there is often an upstairs gallery for women), whereas in Reform synagogues the sexes are not separated from each other.
In Islam, segregation of the sexes during prayer also prevails, but specific customs vary from culture to culture and place to place. Often only Muslim men pray at mosques, while women are expected to pray at home; elsewhere, Muslim women may pray at a mosque, but generally do so either in the rear of the prayer hall (behind the men) or else in an altogether separate area of their own, sometimes hidden from view by a partition, or in an upstairs gallery or a different room.
There are, of course, numerous additional similarities between Judaism and Islam that could further extend this list. For both religions, a “day” technically begins or ends at sunset, rather than at midnight or at dawn. Each religion has its own unique lunar calendar, differing from the widely accepted standard Western or “Gregorian” calendar, and each numbering its years according to its own scheme. Observant Jewish and Muslim males both frequently wear, as an act of piety, somewhat similar skullcap-like head coverings — yarmulkes (the Yiddish term) or kippahs (the Hebrew term) for Jewish men, and the often somewhat larger kufi or taqiyah “prayer cap” for Muslim men. But hopefully a sufficient number of similarities has already been outlined to adequately underscore just how much in common Judaism and Islam actually share with each other. In some ways, the two faiths are perhaps not so radically different from each other as newcomers unfamiliar with either of them might have expected them to be.
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