Site Visit: Journal entry

For my site visit project, I decided to go to a Jewish synagogue called the Temple Hatikvah which is located at 183 NE 8th Street in Homestead (in case anybody else wants to visit). It was surprisingly easy for me to enter the temple. All I had to do in order to be able to enter was call them and explain that I wanted to observe a new religion and I had a little bit of an interest in theirs. They responded by saying that I can enter whenever I was ready to go and that they would have someone wait for me to show me around and teach me things about their religion such as their beliefs.

When I first called the temple, I must admit that I was a little nervous because I had never called a temple before and I thought that they would deny me entry because I wasn’t Jewish. But as I was talking to them on the phone I slowly began to feel more at ease and talked to them as if they were someone I knew for a while. When I went to the temple they showed me around and I was surprised to find out that not only did they use the temple as a place to pray, they also used as a place that somebody can come to study. I was also given permission to attend a prayer on my second visit. At first I felt excluded from the crowd because I didn’t know anybody there. If I had to compare the feeling to something it would be as if I went to a new school and none of my friends were there. Fortunately, my feeling of exclusion ended when some of the people who regularly attended the prayers introduced themselves to me. They were all very kind to me and treated me as if I had attended that temple for years.

During my time in the temple, they would tell me all that I would like to know about the religion such as its holidays, beliefs, etc. They were very good at explaining the things that I wanted to know for the religion and they explained it so well it made me feel like going to the temple week after week to try to learn more. Also, during my time attending the prayers I didn’t feel that my age and gender had excluded me from a ceremony. They were very open and to my point of view they didn’t seem to care at all about my age and gender. What I believe impacted me the most during my visit to the synagogue was that although there is a great difference between my religion and the Jewish religion I still felt compelled to learn as much as I can. To be honest, I thought that I would only be a little interested in the Jewish religion but still stick with my religion. But now that I have experienced this new religion my eyes have been open to try new things and to gain new experiences at other religious temples/churches instead of just sticking to the same religion without giving the other religions a chance.

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