Essay on Jewish Synagogue Visit

Essay on Jewish Synagogue Visit

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Saturday, November 30, 2013 marked the fourth night of Chanukah. It was also the day that my friend Brandon and I visited the Center for Jewish Life in Marlboro, N.J. According to the information I gathered from different online news articles, it is a fairly new reform Synagogue that opened its doors in another smaller location in 2004. The current site of the temple was the former Monmouth Worship Center. Rabbi Yossi Kanelsky, with the help of the members of the congregation, relocated to this 18,000 square foot building in 2011. The temple is currently located within a scenic community off of Route 79 surrounded by private homes. The Synagogue can accommodate more than 500 people and has 17 classrooms for various activities for both adults and children.
The morning Shabbat service began around 9 am. Upon entering the building, my friend Brandon reached out and touched the Mezuzah which was placed on the right side of the door. He explained that every door in a Jewish home or building has a Mezuzah. The lobby area displayed many intricate plaques on the wall commemorating past relatives. Before we entered the large room where the congregation was sitting, there were certain items we were required to take with us. The first was the yarmulke, which is a traditional head covering for the men. The second was a garment, which is a religious styled covering placed around the top of the members’ bodies. The garment had Hebrew letters on the rim of one side, which was the side where it laid around our shoulders and neck. Most importantly, we brought with us a leather bound book, which was a copy of the Torah in English.
Upon entering the room, I noticed a long white lattice fence in the middle of the room. It was a partition d...


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... I had never even seen most of the food displayed, I eagerly and respectfully tried each dish. After everyone in the room sat down at the massive table, the Rabbi picked up a glass of wine and made a prayer over it. Then, Rabbi Kanelsky passed around pieces of Challah bread to the entire table. This lunch festival was yet another ceremony dedicated to one of the member’s deceased relative. At the conclusion, the Rabbi said another prayer out loud for the deceased and the relative expressed his gratitude to everyone.
Overall, my visit to the Center for Jewish Life in Marlboro, N.J. was an enlightening experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. Ultimately, I thought it was delightful to see that whether you are at a Church or Synagogue, the main purpose of the establishment is to bring people together to pray for health, happiness and love for another.

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