Thu 23 Feb 2006
For my religious site, I visited the Asbell Center on Friday evening. I have never been to a Jewish synagogue or ceremony, other than Bar Mitzfahs when I was younger. It was a nice contrast, as Bar Mitzfah’s are upbeat and remind me of wedding receptions with the singing and dancing. Friday’s event was neat because it was laid back and informal in its structure. I am not sure if this was a typical weekly congregation, as there were many visitors and it was more of an open forum. I enjoyed the relaxed dynamic and appreciated everyone’s efforts to make the visitors feel comfortable and welcome. I had trouble understanding much of the actual readings as they were in Hebrew. But I admired the elaborate decorations and candles in the front. The fact that it was an open forum with congregation involvement was something I had never really seen in any other religious environment. I would like to visit a typical weekly ceremony and see if all meetings are as casual. My guess is not, but this was a very informative introduction to the religion and some of their rituals.