Reflection Paper About Shabbat Day Service

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On Saturday, October 17th, I attended the Shabbat morning service at Touro Synagogue. The service was held in the main sanctuary for the Bat Mitzvah of Jessica, a young woman from the congregation. The service was guided by Rabbi Alexis Berk and Cantor David Mintz, but it was primarily led by Jessica. Rabbi Berk offered words of wisdom while Cantor Mintz used his exquisite voice and guitar skills to lead the congregation in singing of the hymns. Jessica took command of the service by reciting prayers in Hebrew and offering a reflection based on her intensive study of the story Noah and the flood from a Torah scroll. The Torah scroll from which Jessica read from and used was passed around to each member of her family present, and then carried…show more content…
There are many misconceptions about Judaism and the people who practice it, but by attending this service, I was able to experience the practice of this faith first hand. Christianity and Judaism obviously have their differences in terms of belief systems and methods of worship, but I believe that the basic values demonstrated by both religions are the same. One value that I noticed in the service that parallels my own is that of helping the community. For part of Jessica’s transition into Jewish adulthood, she participated in a program that helped provide gift cards to children in the foster system so they are able to purchase their own clothes and other personal items. The program focused on helping these foster children gain a little control over certain aspects of their lives since they live in such unpredictable situations. Helping those in need is something that I believe is very important. God taught us to “love thy neighbor as thyself” and in aiding those around us, we are fulfilling God’s plan for us as those who…show more content…
The service glorified God through prayer and song. The celebration of the Bat Mitzvah reminded me of when I became an official member of my church. Like Jessica, I had to attend classes in which I learned about the foundations of the religion, and studied certain chapters of the holy book. I was challenged to become more in tune with my faith and determine God’s role in my life. Unlike Jessica, I did not have to engage with the entire congregation, I was just voted in by the church session. Ultimately, what drives these acts of faith is a love and trust in God. Attending the Shabbat service was such an incredible and unique experience. Knowing that the traditions that I witnessed have been practiced for centuries is awe inspiring. However, I feel that it was more of an educational experience than a spiritual one. There are so many ways one can worship God, and it is extremely important for people to become educated on things they are not familiar with. My current values and beliefs remained the same, however seeing someone as young as Jessica be incredibly devoted to her faith inspires me want to try harder and become a better
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