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Re: This is the Seventh Day, Last Day Tomorrow ;)

Posted by simcha on December 16, 2004, at 16:06:08

In reply to Re: This is the Seventh Day, Last Day Tomorrow ;), posted by Miss Honeychurch on December 14, 2004, at 15:29:04

Here's my advise, for what it's worth.

Make sure that it is NOT an Orthodox synagogue. If it is you will be put in a place that is different from where the men are and you will not really be able to experience the service. The Orthodox take the separation of men and women very seriously. It's a religious thing and they don't look at is as discrimination. They say that women distract them from their prayer. I translate it as that Orthodox men just have a hard time with sexual attraction and can't focus if that is going on at the same time.

If it is a Conservative Synagogue, you will be welcome. The service will most likely be mostly in Hebrew. This might fascinate you as it did me for the first time I experienced an entirely Hebrew Language service.

If it is a Reform Synagogue, you will be very welcome. Most of the service will most likely be in English. This is the most Liberal of the Jewish movements. This is the one I am most closely aligned to and yet I love Hebrew.

If it is a Reconstructionist Synagogue you will be very welcome. The entire service will be in Hebrew. Yet, you will notice in the translation in the prayer book, (sidur), that they have changed the Hebrew to be more Egalitarian and use Feminine Names for G-d and include women more.

The last three would be your best experiences.

Also, try to go to a Friday night Service. It's much shorter. There is usually more singing and this is the more popular service.

If you want an experience, to to a Saturday morning service. It lasts four hours or so. The beauty of it is incredible. This is where we read out of the Torah, and the Haftarah, our Sacred literature, in Hebrew. We also have more prayers going on so it lasts a very long time. Don't show up early. In fact, most Jews show up about 45 minutes to an hour into the service. They don't get to the "important" stuff that Jews must do on Saturday morning until then. All of the stuff that leads up to that is in preparation for the stuff that is compulsory. Also it is a very clever device that the Rabbi's instituted long ago. Jews tend to run on "Jewish Standard Time." So 9am service means showing up at 9:45ish or 10ish... ;-)

Have fun if you go.

If you find that the Synagogue across the street is Orthodox, you can find other synagogues of the various movements in your yellow pages under "churches" or even "synagogues."

Have Fun Exploring..

(P.S.) I grew up Catholic and I was born Jewish. I decided to be Jewish 6 or 7 years ago when I didn't really believe in the Jesus thing. Also I felt right at home the first time I went into a synagogue. I felt one with my people.

> Simcha,
> I live across the street from a Synagogue and am very curious to visit a service. I myself am Catholic but have a curiosity about all religions and how people worship God.
> Would it be OK for me to show up alone? IS there any protocol I should follow? The synagogue is not orthodox or conservative. Do you think I would be welcome? Any thoughts?




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