The Rabbi discussed the history of Judaism and how it ridden with conflict just like the other Abrahamic religions and he referred to a quote that spoke on the superiority complex held by these religions to this day. The Rabbi began with the tribe of Judah which was the most dominant tribe in Israel. Jews descended from this tribe which is where the word “Jew” is derived is from. Jews were originally referred to as Hebrews which can be found in the Torah. Judaism was deeply centered in Israel until the destruction of the temple which left Jews with no central location to gather and worship. This led to the development of synagogues (diaspora) which allowed Jews to build to build communities and find solace anywhere on the planet (Esposito 92). Most synagogues are built facing to face the temple in Jerusalem since it holds so much significance.
The Moses Montefiore synagogue was different than I expected. The hallways leading to the main hall held boards with tags featuring the names of the important figures in their community that light up on the month of their passing. There was smaller room where community events and daily services are held. Before entering the main hall, there was a sink that allowed members of the community to cleanse themselves before service and meals. The Rabbi mentioned this element had been recently adopted. Netilat yadayim or ritualistic cleans...
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...nd women were subservient. There are also rules against men and women wearing certain articles of clothing since it was considered crossdressing. The number of rules you’re expected to upheld seemed bizarre and the rules seemed to govern almost every aspect of a person’s life which made me feel uneasy about the religion but also generated a respect for the people who live by these commandments.
I was fascinated by my visit to the synagogue. From the moment, I met the Rabbi, I felt welcomed. I expected the Rabbi to be much older and conservative. Rabbi Dinin was kind, well-spoken and very knowledgeable. He was well informed about all of the Abrahamic religions and he referenced them to explain certain aspect of Orthodox Judaism. My preconception of Orthodox Judaism was proven false and I was left wondering how other Orthodox communities compared to Moses Monterfiore.
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