Garrett Cave- Site Visit

As most know, the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah took place. In this opportunity I decided to visit a jewish temple so that I could experience their holiday. I play baseball here for FIU and some of my teammates happen to be Jewish. With this in mind, I was interested to see what took place on this day. Being a Christian, and from a small town, I haven’t experienced anything of this sort. I decided to visit the Temple Israel of Greater Miami, next to Wynwood. Before going, I did some research and discovered that this was one of the largest, and oldest, temples in Miami. Founded in 1922, it has been in the same location since 1928. From the pictures, I could tell that this was a very upscale and beautiful temple. I did not call ahead but out of common knowledge I dressed in nice dark jeans and a button-up just to be safe; and formal. As I arrived, I walked into a large white Temple with two large wooden doors. There was a small lobby with many people congregating, discussing things. There was also a man there handing out spare Kipa’s, the small caps that is worn by men to show respect for the Higher being. It is said that men wear these to bring them closer to the Almighty because  there is always a higher power above. I respectfully accepted it, but did not put it on. I honestly did not feel comfortable enough to wear one, so I decided to hold it for the time I was there. As I walked into the large forum, large with pillars with a rounded ceiling stretched from each side of the Temple, and stained glass windows scattered the forum as well. My duration here only last about 30- 45 minutes, but in this time frame much praying and singing of praises occurred. At the time of the singing, I could not understand what was being said but from the bulletin I was given, the name of the song was Unetenneh Tokef. It reminded me a lot of an opera style theme with long drawn out vowels and ups and downs of the vocal sounds. The majority of the crowd was singing along peacefully. It was very interesting to watch the manner of the praises. It was very calm and very respectful. Once the moments of prayer and praises had finished, I decided to leave. As I got home, I looked up the song Unetenneh Tokef. This song plays a large part of the holiday as it is considered the main hymnal that introduces the prayers of the congregation.

Overall, my experience here was humbling. I greatly enjoyed the peacefulness that was shown towards their religion. Also how the Temple as a whole conducted the service. I would gladly return to this place to further experience my learning of this religion.

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