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Old 04-13-2018, 04:48 AM
 
Location: US
28,038 posts, read 15,144,720 times
Reputation: 1760

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
when i started going the service felt intimidating to me because it was in a language i did not understand (all in Hebrew, and I only knew English), it had a structure and pace that i did not know what was going on, people were focused on prayer and the service, not chatting and answering questions, i didn't know where the bathroom was or how to get there, i did not know when to stand and when to sit, and whether to sway or bend, what to do during different parts of the service, there was a book but i couldn't follow along because i did not know where we were in the service, and glancing at different people's books they were in different parts of the service anyway on different pages from each other, occasionally page numbers were mentioned but they were all over the map, not in any sequence or order, people came and went and were doing different things in different parts of the room. at the meal afterward when i sat any old place i could tell this made people uncomfortable and i did not know why, when i offered to shake hands or strike up a conversation, this made people uncomfortable and i did not know why. i was unintentionally doing things that i later found out were inappropriate.

if a person shows up that has never been there before and is obviously not acquainted with the service, it is definitely noticed. yes, people are going to wonder why you are there. are you doing research for a school project? are you going to start talking about JC after service during the meal? do you mean harm to the group or to individuals in the group? are you going to show respect for this place you have walked into? initially people are suspicious, and with good reason. are you going to want to tell your life history and all your thoughts on what is wrong with other religions? those are all things i witnessed happening in the span of just a few months

jews don't proselytize. they are not there to meet and greet and make you feel welcome and tell you about what it's like to be a Jew. they are not looking for new members. they are not seeking converts. it is not a promotion or advertisement, it is a prayer service. they are not there to discuss comparative religion. you will stand out like a sore thumb and people are going to first and foremost wonder why you are there, what is your intention, what is your motivation, and yes be suspicious. often there will be police at the door, in the parking lot, in and around the building. people may come right out and ask you "who are you? why are you here? what do you want?"

i am speaking only from my personal experience of the last 10 years. other people can certainly share their perspective.
I agree...The poster should start off taking some classes...
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Old 04-13-2018, 08:58 AM
 
847 posts, read 1,065,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
you might want to go to some classes to start instead of services, that is a more relaxed informal setting, with more opportunity to ask questions, talk with people before and after class, and build trust. Look for the Chabad center near wherever you live there are usually classes during week. i found it much more intimidating to go to services than to go to classes.
Oh wow, this is something that never even crossed my mind, but actually sounds like a much better idea as well, given personal experience similar to your next reply...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
when i started going the service felt intimidating to me because it was in a language i did not understand (all in Hebrew, and I only knew English), it had a structure and pace that i did not know what was going on, people were focused on prayer and the service,
I recall several times as a child, my grandparents took me to their Catholic church, and I felt _very_ out of place as I didn't know any of the rituals or customs there either. I'm sure I got a pass then, being all of maybe 10 years old, but I do very distinctly recall the feeling of being uncomfortable there. Even recently, one of my friends back home got married in a Catholic church, and had me as one of the Groomsmen. Same situation - not at all familiar with the various rituals, and I felt like I spent the entire ceremony being two or three steps behind everyone else along with the feeling that those that did know what they were doing were annoyed by the "odd man out".

Oddly enough, I didn't see any of these replies until this morning. However, last night, I had a dream where I was in attendance of what I can only assume were Jewish services. While, like many memories of dreams after the fact, many details are fuzzy, I do distinctly remember feeling out of place, and the feeling that many others there were suspicious of my presence. Followed by learning that I was sitting on the wrong side of the room for the new folks via an announcement from someone at the front of the room, and that same 3 steps behind everyone else feeling due to just not knowing the ritual cues.

At the end of it all, I do realize that this isn't just about me, and I'm talking about joining a community that would rightly be suspicious of any outsiders. But that's also why I'm asking questions rather than just jumping in head first, so to speak. I'll definitely look into the classes though.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:28 PM
 
13,116 posts, read 13,730,394 times
Reputation: 9187
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbex View Post
Oh wow, this is something that never even crossed my mind, but actually sounds like a much better idea as well, given personal experience similar to your next reply...



I recall several times as a child, my grandparents took me to their Catholic church, and I felt _very_ out of place as I didn't know any of the rituals or customs there either. I'm sure I got a pass then, being all of maybe 10 years old, but I do very distinctly recall the feeling of being uncomfortable there. Even recently, one of my friends back home got married in a Catholic church, and had me as one of the Groomsmen. Same situation - not at all familiar with the various rituals, and I felt like I spent the entire ceremony being two or three steps behind everyone else along with the feeling that those that did know what they were doing were annoyed by the "odd man out".

Oddly enough, I didn't see any of these replies until this morning. However, last night, I had a dream where I was in attendance of what I can only assume were Jewish services. While, like many memories of dreams after the fact, many details are fuzzy, I do distinctly remember feeling out of place, and the feeling that many others there were suspicious of my presence. Followed by learning that I was sitting on the wrong side of the room for the new folks via an announcement from someone at the front of the room, and that same 3 steps behind everyone else feeling due to just not knowing the ritual cues.

At the end of it all, I do realize that this isn't just about me, and I'm talking about joining a community that would rightly be suspicious of any outsiders. But that's also why I'm asking questions rather than just jumping in head first, so to speak. I'll definitely look into the classes though.

and at classes you will be able to ask questions and learn and feel more at ease.
it is also wonderful to go to services at some point.
the first time I went to services (when I finally got up my nerve) it was a very moving experience. the first time I heard the prayers in Hebrew I felt my soul just soar, it literally felt like it was going to leave my body entirely. I had to consciously draw it back so I would not pass away. Then of course afterwards I was asking people "who is the singer? does he have CDs I can buy" and getting some strange looks, come to find out it was "just" the regular prayer service.



here is some music to set the mood


https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...6F2B&FORM=VIRE

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...D&&FORM=VDRVRV

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...E&&FORM=VDRVRV


https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...9&&FORM=VRDGAR

Last edited by Tzaphkiel; 04-13-2018 at 12:43 PM..
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Booth Texas
15,032 posts, read 5,041,149 times
Reputation: 1533
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbex View Post
I’ve had a lot of change in my life over the past couple of months, much of which has been the result of many things suddenly becoming clear to me, but there also has been some confusion added in as well. The best way of explaining it that I’ve come up with, as I explained to my parents as to why I’ve made such changes in a short period of time, is that I feel as if I’ve been chasing someone else’s dream for the past 20 years.

I’ve been reading an awful lot over the past few days, and it’s certainly possible that I’ve mixed up some things, or just plain understood incorrectly. What I thought I had read regarding Paul was that he had essentially started Christianity, and modified the Torah to become the Bible, adding in things such as original sin and removing the passages that says man has the ability within him to choose to be good of his own free will along with accepting Jesus Christ as the only true savior and the path to heaven.

It’s entirely likely that I’ve misunderstood some things along the way, and I know all of my questions aren’t going to be answered overnight. It’s taken a lot of years to get to the point where I am now, and it will take time to readjust my path in life.

The aforementioned acquaintance is the only Jewish person that I know, or at least that I know is Jewish. I understand the Jewish people haven’t exactly had an easy go in life, and I’m sure it’s not common for many people to be open about being Jewish. Whereas I’ve had many invites to go to Church with people I’ve just met. As such, I didn’t know if it would even be appropriate to ask my acquaintance if I could attend services with them sometime, as I could see where it may be taken as a mere curiosity rather than a genuine interest.
Can't really discuss the New testament in here, but read Acts 21 very closely and see the truth.


Understand that war makes people hate other people, and the Jews had lost a million people in a 7 year war with Rome, and Rome was made up of all nations. Rome could not afford to let it's people become Christian if those Christians admired Jews and were making pilgrimages to Jerusalem to at least keep the feast of booths that is called the feast of nations where Zechariah says that all nations will keep. Rome HATED the Jews, Rome put a heavy tax on Jews and in those days, if you were doing ANYTHING that connected you to a Jew, you would pay the tax and be hated even worse than the Jew. What Gentile was brave enough to stand next to a Jew at the feast of Tabernacles when they would be caught on the road doing so? If you kept the Jewish ways and people knew you were a Gentile, you were in serious trouble.


Constantine finally outlawed God's ways when he outlawed and insulted the Jews and all their feasts which happened to be the feasts of God.


Christianity was a sect of Judaism, Christians are born into a lawless mentality where they are already set in their preconceived ideas out of the lack of knowledge. You read Paul in Romans 11 like any Christian and it looks like Paul is speaking of Jews, but Paul is speaking of the Pagan house of Israel and his own people who were scattered to the nations because they refused to join Judah in Jerusalem for the feasts of God and they became known as the lost ten tribes and Paul is explaining this, but every Christian will take the sin of Ephraim and stick it on the head of Judah when God has promised that he will NEVER end Judah, Judah will ALWAYS be God's people.


Christians read with a bias that they are not aware of, simply because they don't know the history of the two kingdoms of Israel and so they don't understand because they mix the two together.


The prophets say that ten men from very nation will grasp the garment of a Jew, and this is in reference to the return of the ten lost tribes in all the nations where EVERY JEW is appointed his own congregation. At first was the Passover lamb that redeemed the first born, but then, Moses was given instruction that the priests would now stand as Passover lambs, and if there were not enough priests to stand for a first born son, the first born son had to pay the temple tax, but the temple evolved and so did the redemption until it came to the prophet saying,'' 'Ten men from every generation will grasp the garment of a Jew.''


The idea is to be added to the nation, and where the priest stood as Passover lambs, all the Jews stand as Passover lambs today.


The idea is for the Gentile to repent of his paganism, then just to accept the ways of God and sit back and watch Israel follow their God.


The idea is to be added to the nation of God's people.


What the church teaches is Anti-Semitism, but you have to begin with the knowledge that those first Christians were converts to Judaism, and if ANYONE comes speaking against the law, they are false prophets who deserved death by the law.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,497 posts, read 54,907,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
and at classes you will be able to ask questions and learn and feel more at ease.
it is also wonderful to go to services at some point.
the first time I went to services (when I finally got up my nerve) it was a very moving experience. the first time I heard the prayers in Hebrew I felt my soul just soar, it literally felt like it was going to leave my body entirely. I had to consciously draw it back so I would not pass away. Then of course afterwards I was asking people "who is the singer? does he have CDs I can buy" and getting some strange looks, come to find out it was "just" the regular prayer service.



here is some music to set the mood


https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...6F2B&FORM=VIRE

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...D&&FORM=VDRVRV

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...E&&FORM=VDRVRV


https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...9&&FORM=VRDGAR
There is something to be said for those Hebrew "songs" of prayer.

As I think you know, I am a 9/11 survivor from the WTC. Two weeks after the attacks, a memorial service was held for my 84 dead coworkers in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Because we were a large public agency overseen by politicians, they and notable clergy from NYC were present.

In the two weeks since I ran out of the building, I had not been able to shed a tear, even as I learned that people I'd known for 20 years had died. At that service, the politicians spoke, a Catholic bishop spoke, another Christian pastor spoke, and then the Rabbi from one of the big city synagogues took his place at the podium. The head of our agency, who died, had been from his congregation.

He spoke a bit, and then he said, "and now I am going to say the prayer we say asking God to shelter the dead." He began to chant in Hebrew, and even though I am not Jewish and feel no draw toward Judaism personally and have no idea what the words were, that prayer went deep down into my soul, and I cried and I cried and I cried.
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Old 04-15-2018, 03:15 AM
 
Location: US
28,038 posts, read 15,144,720 times
Reputation: 1760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzaphkiel View Post
and at classes you will be able to ask questions and learn and feel more at ease.
it is also wonderful to go to services at some point.
the first time I went to services (when I finally got up my nerve) it was a very moving experience. the first time I heard the prayers in Hebrew I felt my soul just soar, it literally felt like it was going to leave my body entirely. I had to consciously draw it back so I would not pass away. Then of course afterwards I was asking people "who is the singer? does he have CDs I can buy" and getting some strange looks, come to find out it was "just" the regular prayer service.



here is some music to set the mood


https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...6F2B&FORM=VIRE

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...D&&FORM=VDRVRV

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...E&&FORM=VDRVRV


https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...9&&FORM=VRDGAR
Beautiful music...
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Long Island
1,726 posts, read 1,397,138 times
Reputation: 1428
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbex View Post
As such, is it considered in poor taste for a non Jew to visit a synagogue, and attend services, in an attempt to learn more about myself?
No, it isn't.

We get visitors all the time, and most are just curious and trying to learn more.

As someone who was once in you shoes, I would recommend calling during the week and talking to the rabbi. While it isn't required, it can help in dispelling incorrect assumptions before getting there.
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Old 04-15-2018, 06:00 PM
 
3,968 posts, read 3,356,805 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
There is something to be said for those Hebrew "songs" of prayer.

As I think you know, I am a 9/11 survivor from the WTC. Two weeks after the attacks, a memorial service was held for my 84 dead coworkers in The Theater at Madison Square Garden. Because we were a large public agency overseen by politicians, they and notable clergy from NYC were present.

In the two weeks since I ran out of the building, I had not been able to shed a tear, even as I learned that people I'd known for 20 years had died. At that service, the politicians spoke, a Catholic bishop spoke, another Christian pastor spoke, and then the Rabbi from one of the big city synagogues took his place at the podium. The head of our agency, who died, had been from his congregation.

He spoke a bit, and then he said, "and now I am going to say the prayer we say asking God to shelter the dead." He began to chant in Hebrew, and even though I am not Jewish and feel no draw toward Judaism personally and have no idea what the words were, that prayer went deep down into my soul, and I cried and I cried and I cried.
Wow. Thatís so intense. Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 04-16-2018, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Mars City
5,091 posts, read 2,172,927 times
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Thanks Tzaphkiel for the notes above. I guess the "services" (sorry for likely incorrect word) are tightly controlled and regulated, and require complete submission to the group and the ways of the group. It sounds like there is no room for spiritual freedom, such as sitting and praying for example. Everyone must do the same thing at the same time (correct me if I'm wrong). If you do anything different, it's a problem for everyone apparently.

I respect the focus on the sacredness of the occasion and location. I agree that it shouldn't be about greeting and welcoming people and socializing. That's a reason why I've stopped going to protestant churches. They used to be - and I'm talking several decades ago - more like Jewish synagogues appear to be, but have gone way off in the opposite direction, making them like clubs and social centers, even putting in coffee shops and nonsense like that. If the reason for going (sacred worship and honoring) is watered down, it's disrespects God (would you call him Jehovah?)

It's a little sad, because I would treasure and honor time amongst Jews at a Jewish "service". I wouldn't want to say anything, or make waves. I'd be quiet and respectful. I'd be there to appreciate the many millennia of Jewish thought and service. I'd pray to the God of Israel. I revere the time for holiness. I'd be there to learn. I'm a person of peace, civility, and unity, and put the respect of others above personal opinion and preference. Oh well, a visit will probably never happen, but that's okay. I mostly worship and pray in private anyway.

Sorry to hear about police and security personnel. It's sad that that's required, but understandable.

Last edited by Thoreau424; 04-16-2018 at 11:00 AM..
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Old 04-16-2018, 10:43 AM
 
405 posts, read 125,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
Thanks Tzaphkiel for the notes above. I guess the "services" (sorry for likely incorrect word) are tightly controlled and regulated, and require complete submission to the group and the ways of the group. It sounds like there is no room for spiritual freedom, such as sitting and praying for example. Everyone must do the same thing at the same time (correct me if I'm wrong). If you do anything different, it's a problem for everyone apparently.
This is not really true, although it might seem that way in many congregations, including ours, particularly on the Sabbath. Some things ARE supposed to be done together, or at least the congregational mode must be respected and, in some cases, responded to. However, it is NOT uncommon for some individuals to be doing their own thing at their own speed, particularly if there are more than ten adult males present. It would probably not be appropriate for a non-Jewish visitor.

I frankly do NOT know all the rules concerning this, nor their status (law, custom or otherwise). Perhaps rosends and/or Pruzhany will comment further on this, since both undoubtedly have far wider experience and knowledge on this than I do.
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