For my site visit I decided to go to a Jewish synagogue. Personally I am a Christian, and there was a Jewish synagogue in my neighborhood so I thought it would be a good place to do this project. I was a little nervous, because I didn’t know anyone and I like anyone else wasn’t used to their customs. After a few minutes walking around the site and talking to a few people I was comfortable being there.
I attended a service which had started Friday night. I didn’t know any of their songs or chants but luckily they had them printed on the packet I was handed when I walked in, so I quickly caught on and sung with them. During the service they first bring out the Torah and chant the Jewish pledge. Then they read from it and then the Rabbi comes out and reads a psalms and chooses a reading from the Jewish bible.
As far as obstacles, I only had a few. The first obstacle was that I didn’t quite fit in. I was dressed well, but I was missing a kippah. The kippah is a Jewish cap that everyone wears. After the service I went and talked with one of the cantors. At first she was a little suspicious of me because she didn’t recognize me but once I told her what I was doing there, she opened up and was happy to answer my questions.
The Jewish religion as far as what I observed is very serious. Everyone there was participating in the rituals and chanting when told to. I have a few Jewish friends that from what I know don’t act like the people I met that night. I guess that they have lost some connection with their God. I found the whole experience to be very enlightening and interesting, I learned a lot from the people and I feel more connected with God now.