I was at an impasse on how to complete this assignment. I had been looking and researching all the different world religions in my area and none were meeting regularly. There is only a Jewish Temple within 100 miles of Stanton, Texas. This being the case I was able to find a list of Shabbat services on YouTube. As I got permission to use this source, I then had to decide what would be the best way to choose on a service. I could have gone and looked at multiple services, but that seemed to be handpicking. I decided that the best way was to treat YouTube as if I had multiple options for services. I just picked one.
The very first service that came in my search was a service from the Temple Beth Or in La Mirada, California. As the camera panned the sanctuary before the beginning of the service, I saw the typical Bimah as well as the Ark containing the Torah Scrolls. During my interview at the Jewish tabernacle, seeing the Torah Scrolls in person was a very impressive image. Also, in the sanctuary of Temple Beth Or there was a sculpture on the wall of an arm wrapped in barb-wire, with numbers tattooed on the arm. This was a very powerful reminder of the persecution of the Jews during World War II.
As I was watching and waiting for the service to start, it seemed very similar to what I had been used to. The room seemed similar, there were some differences, The Bimah, the Ark, the decorations on the wall, and of course no crosses. But it really did not feel a lot different. The people seemed friendly with one another. There was a lot of visiting and laughing, and the Rabbi and Soloist were busy preparing for the service.
The service started with a Call to Worship in Hebrew. The Soloist of the church, Arielle Goldfarb, started with a...
... middle of paper ...
...ished I could have seen in person. It was really powerful on video.
The experience of attending this service even by video is one that really challenged me. I was challenged because, while we have the same God and a lot of the same stories, there is an obvious missing element. I was impressed with the order, the tradition, the music, and the passion, I could not help that there was no Jesus. As the song of Miram was sung, or the meditation on the crossing of the Red sea was spoken, it felt like I was only hearing the beginning of the story and not the whole thing. This saddened me as I turned off the computer. These people that have been through so much, and endured all that they have, still do not have the whole story. There is a lot to be learned from our Jewish friends in passion, energy, and resolve, but we still need to take the opportunity to teach them Jesus.
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