Thu 9 Mar 2006
For my visit I decide to try out something new. Coming from a Christian back ground, I choose to attend a Jewish service. It was held at the Asbell center on the campus on Dickinson College on a Friday February 17th. I arrived early and to my surprise no one else had shown up yet. The service was to start at 7, yet people did not start to arrive until after that time. I quickly found out that this was going to be a very laid back and informal service. Throughout the service many people can and went as they pleased. To start everyone introduced themselves and what was their purpose for attending the service. This really helped relax me and help me fit in with the others. We were all giving a prayer book to follow from. Most of the reading s and hymns were not in English which made it difficult for me understand, but I did get a good feel of the types of things they prayed for. One lady guided us and helped us follow along and if we had any questions at anytime she was pleases to answer them. After we prayed she showed us the torah. It was not allowed to be taken out of the arc, but we had one member of the congregation do a reading for us. She said it was the most important reading from the torah’s 52 weeks teaching. She talked about the Ten Commandments and how they related to their religion. At this time many of the people who attended the service got involved and ask some important yet deep questions. After about 1 hour the services came to an end with another hymn. Overall it was a great learning experience. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to my next visit where I may have a better understanding of some minor principles of their religion.