Traditions Israel, Palestine

Traditions Israel, Palestine

Religions and beliefs in Israel


It is considered important to eat in non-kosher dishes, to consume meats that do not come from animals slaughtered ritually, the obligation to stop.

However, strict observant Jews are in the minority in the Diaspora and in Israel. The vast majority of Jews are content to celebrate the main Jewish holidays, circumcise boys and eat more or less strictly kosher.
There are minorities of Jews who consider themselves "purer" than others and who isolate themselves from the rest of the community.

The place and role of the Jewish religion in Israel is not clearly defined. One can perfectly well be an Israeli citizen without being a Jew. This is the case for Muslims and Palestinian Christians of Israeli nationality. The creation of the Jewish state was made from the notion of the Jewish people and not of the Jewish religion. Hence a permanent confrontation between supporters of secularism and fundamentalist religious circles.

These last poséreligious USSR formed themselves into lobbies through a certain number of parties.


Pietism, joy, prayer, exaltation, so many criteria that define the lovers of God who are the Hasidim. They emphasize the fervor, the grace, the joy, the love of the Divine which transcends the individual. In their caftan and shtreimel (the headdress edged with fur), today we can recognize the disciples of the holy rabbi who, awaiting the messianic times, haunt the alleys of Mea She'arim in Jerusalem.

A Jewish and democratic state

The freedom it indicates the religion of each one.

Muslim religion

To see further.


Cradle of the holy places of Christianity, Israel today has about 127 Christians (000% of the population), of which nearly 1,5 are in Jerusalem. This minority is nevertheless very representative of the diversity of Christianity. Many religious communities (Catholic, Syriac, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Armenian, etc.) are thus grouped together in Israeli territory.

Different religious groups

- The Bahai Copts and chré The Druze: a dissident sect of Islam. They believe in the face The Karai The Samaritans: Mount Gerizim in the West Bank is their sacred place Melkites: these are the Churches of Syria, Palestine and Egypt which have remained faithful to the Catholic Churches of the Byzantine rite.

  • See our file on the holy cities: Jerusalem, Bethlehem ...

Religions and traditions in Palestine

The origins of the Muslim religion

The founder of the Islamic religion is Muhammad (Muhammad, “he first repeats to his entourage, then transmits to secretaries for twenty years. They will form the text of the Quran (Koran, moreover means "recitation").

The Prophet then begins his public life and his preaching. The first disciples gather. But the teaching of Mahomet disturbs the Meccan bourgeoisie. Persecutions and religious wars follow. The situation becoming untenable in Mecca, he emigrated on July 16, 622 to Yathrib, with about sixty supporters: it is from this emigration (hegira) that the Muslim era begins. The city is renamed "the city of the Prophet", Madinat al Nabi, known as Medina in French.

The influence of Mohammed will very quickly take on considerable importance. He returned triumphantly to his hometown in 630 and broke all the idols that surrounded the Kaaba (large black cube in the center of the temple of Mecca). The Prophet died two years later, on June 2, 8.

His succession is taken in hand by his companions, but will later lead to a split, Moawiya blowing Ali (at the cost of a war) with the leadership of the community of believers. From this schism will subsequently arise the opposition between Sunnis and Shiites., the latter (broken up into a myriad of sects) considering Ali and his descendants as the only legitimate leaders.


About 1,2% of Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza or JeEast are Catholic or Orthodox Christians. They are mainly found in Bethlehem, around Ramallah and in Jerusalem. 

Manners and customs in Palestine

- Palestinians are always surprised (and flattered that a simple hello) pronounced at the right time will delight your interlocutors.

- The Salvation is very fiki if you are, it always impresses).

- In principle, an invitation is not immediately refused (except and especially if it seems suspicious to you). If you don't have time to go to someone's house, don't suddenly refuse. Start by thanking and make up an excuse like “Friends are waiting for me”.
If you accept an invitation, you will have to comply with the ceremonies: drink coffee, take the time to chat, etc. You don't return a cup unempted. Likewise, eating with appetite will be greatly appreciated. To exclaim, to thank effusively would be the last rudeness. Nothing prevents you from offering something to your host (cake, fruit, soda, etc.), but don't be surprised if your gift is thrown in a corner, without having been opened.

- For Muslims, the left hand is unclean (it is used to make your personal hygiene): do not greet or eat with it (except with cutlery, of course, and unless you are left-handed: they also do it today).

- We do not throw toilet paper in the bowl, but in a small bin provided for this purpose.

Special backpackers in Palestine

Our backpacker friends will pay attention to above the knee, shoulders and back. Pants (or capris in summer) and a decent shirt are enough.

In less open circles, or in the countryside, where the only females a man is allowed to see are his mother, sisters, aunts and nieces, where a respectable woman never meets the eyes of 'a man in the street, does not greet him even if they know each other, never shakes his hand, certain behaviors that have become commonplace with us are to be avoided. A Westerner, especially if she is young and even if she is with her partner or husband, will avoid physical closeness or excessive friendliness.

Justadopt a healthy distance, matched with suitable clothing, in order to clearly set the limit and avoid any misunderstanding.

In some popular restaurants, it is not uncommon for a dining room for women, accompanied or not).

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