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Old 04-23-2018, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,005 posts, read 54,508,374 times
Reputation: 66354

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliksder View Post
It really varies. Some are open to visitors and others are more careful. This does not necessarily coincide with how observant a person is, either.
This is true, although I've never visited a synagogue. However, I worked for a Hasidic family-owned company for a year in a very Hasidic neighborhood where it was obvious to anyone that I was not one of them. The family I worked for treated me well. As a matter of fact, that I was not one of their community was part of my advantage to the business. The employees came from all sorts of backgrounds, and all of the Jewish employees were very nice.

In the neighborhood, though, it was different. Some of the Jews deliberately let doors slam in my face or pretended I wasn't there when out shopping or getting food. It happened so frequently that I knew my "otherness" was why they were being rude. Most of them who behaved this way, particularly the door-slammers, were women, yet there were other Jewish women who were friendly and polite. Some men would ignore my presence or not respond if I spoke to them, but I took that as their observance of the separation of men and women in the culture, even though not all Jewish men acted that way, just some.

Anyway, since all of these people were Hasidic Jews, the decision as to whether to be nice or nasty to an outsider ultimately rested with the individual.

When putting oneself into a culture that is not one's own, it is always a good to remember that people are individuals and that their behavior is not necessarily reflective of the group to which they belong.
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:06 PM
 
646 posts, read 345,497 times
Reputation: 495
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
This is true, although I've never visited a synagogue. However, I worked for a Hasidic family-owned company for a year in a very Hasidic neighborhood where it was obvious to anyone that I was not one of them. The family I worked for treated me well. As a matter of fact, that I was not one of their community was part of my advantage to the business. The employees came from all sorts of backgrounds, and all of the Jewish employees were very nice.

In the neighborhood, though, it was different. Some of the Jews deliberately let doors slam in my face or pretended I wasn't there when out shopping or getting food. It happened so frequently that I knew my "otherness" was why they were being rude. Most of them who behaved this way, particularly the door-slammers, were women, yet there were other Jewish women who were friendly and polite. Some men would ignore my presence or not respond if I spoke to them, but I took that as their observance of the separation of men and women in the culture, even though not all Jewish men acted that way, just some.

Anyway, since all of these people were Hasidic Jews, the decision as to whether to be nice or nasty to an outsider ultimately rested with the individual.

When putting oneself into a culture that is not one's own, it is always a good to remember that people are individuals and that their behavior is not necessarily reflective of the group to which they belong.
I think this is a great post.
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:09 PM
 
Location: NJ
1,377 posts, read 493,994 times
Reputation: 590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
I'm not suggesting extremism, and I don't understand that sentiment either. I never suggested throwing "the doors open and saying 'come on in'. There could be middle ground between one extreme (rejecting people outright), and the opposite (some weird welcoming extravaganza).

I understand that it is serious, and I respect that. Why is is impossible to see the chance of a visitor also seeing it as serious and sacred? I still don't get this leaping to conclusions, as though you know and fully understand - beyond a shadow of doubt - every person that you see.

Also, this notion that people - anyone - would see it as a "spectator sport". Why would anyone think that? Why is it impossible to conceive of a visitor respecting and sharing in the holiness of the time, understanding the rich and extensive history behind Judaism? It sounds like you consider it impossible for a visitor to be reverent and respectful. It doesn't mean the visitor would understand it all, or any of it, but the visitor can see that it is highly significant and deep to those present.

I've only been trying to gain understanding, learning, and education in this area. I've come in peace, and as a friend. But there is a coldness and a bit of hostility that seems misplaced and unwarranted. Unfortunately, my opinion of Jews has been reduced, which is sad. I've always been VERY supportive of Jews, when anyone has said anything negative, though I'll admit to not knowing much about Jews, their faith, and their beliefs. Now, I feel slighted and have no reason to say anything positive or supportive. Even asking questions here - at a distance with no strings attached - is met with gruffness.

I'm going to stop commenting and posting here in this area of the forum. Don't worry about me intruding any more into your area. Peace.
If your participation is limited to pulling quotes out of context and ignoring other things that are said then I think you are making the wise choice to distance yourself. If you have the ability to be hurt when others answer you with honesty and openness, then this is not a place where you will feel comfortable. But if you choose to have a dialogue which keeps in mind the entirety of a post and which is sensitive to the fact that different people have different sensibilities, and you avoid imputing emotion and grossly mischaracterizing another's thoughts and actions, then there will always be room for your comments.
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:22 PM
 
3,500 posts, read 4,955,295 times
Reputation: 3488
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbex View Post
I'm bowing out...I really didn't intend for this to happen, and I apologize for starting it. I suppose I got my answer, and I certainly wouldn't want to start this kind of a conflict at the synagogue. Thank you all for your assistance and guidance.
Our small city has a conservative and a reform synagogue. The Conservative synagogue for whatever reason, is barely known. It does not advertise anywhere.

The Reform synagogue has open-house dinners and talks about their culture, once a year, to which anyone may come if they reserve in advance and pay. Many gentiles attend. They advertise occasionally in the weekly County newspaper. They have a different holocaust survivor give a speech, once a year. The Rabbi has been a friend of mine for 30 years (from a recreational club in the community) and he told me "Our congregation is mostly mixed-marriage families". He himself was raised Catholic, and belonged to 2 Protestant churches before re-discovering his Jewish roots in middle-age and becoming a rabbi.

Based on my knowledge about this Reform congregation, I am very surprised at the many harsh comments in this thread.

I would also encourage the OP to look into Unitarian Universalist congregations. UU's don't require adherence to any religious creed. Their members come from all backgrounds. It has been a highly respected denomination in America since the mid-1800s. He can find locations of congregations, listed on the UU website.

Last edited by slowlane3; 04-23-2018 at 03:30 PM..
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Old 04-24-2018, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Booth Texas
14,782 posts, read 4,960,547 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thoreau424 View Post
That's too bad you feel that way, because there are definitely such Gentile's out there. I'm having trouble understand the stone wall and rigidity in the thinking. Oh well, I'm sure you'll get your wish, and Gentile's will stay far away. Just keep in mind that you're giving them/us reasons to think of Jews in a harsh and negative light. If there's no element of kindness and acceptance on your part, Gentiles will have no reason to support Jews in any way. It might even encourage - probably already does - people to look down on Jews. I hope that you're just representing a wayward and tangental element, and not the norm of Judaic thought and action.
Given the past 2000 years of Anti-Semitism committed against the Jew by all people Gentile, if I were a Jew, I wouldn't want a Gentile attending synagogue, of course, if they believed and practiced Judaism, I think that would be fine, but for just any Gentile to come walking in, NO, I don't see it, and I don't think the Jews should have to put up with any curiosity seekers. As a rule, the two just do not mix, ESPECIALLY a Gentile from another faith. They just wouldn't have any business there. Churches might open their arms to people, but the church wasn't put through 2000 years of persecution, Jews were. Of course, I don't attend synagogue and every synagogue would have to make their own rules, and I am sure I would be happy with anything they said.
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Old 04-24-2018, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Mars City
5,091 posts, read 2,138,052 times
Reputation: 7505
I wanted to apologize if I offended anyone previously. I communicated "offline" with a poster through PM, and the issues were clarified. As I've pointed out, I've never had any intention of visiting a synagogue. I just wanted to understand how it might be viewed, and if there were problems or apprehensions, what they might be. It was only for personal education and understanding.

I'm shocked and saddened if others have bothered Jews and/or synagogues. I believe in respect for others, and other's values and beliefs. I cannot understand the mentality that tries to projects one's views onto another. I'd be the last person to want to add to interference and unsettled feelings towards others. I feel I probably accidentally did so here, so again do apologize. I am genuine and honest though. My intentions here have been pure.

I send a special thanks to the individual who especially helped on this forum.
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Old 04-24-2018, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Booth Texas
14,782 posts, read 4,960,547 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliksder View Post
I think this is a great post.
Yeah, she is a special person, O Mighty Queeny that she be.
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Old 04-24-2018, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Booth Texas
14,782 posts, read 4,960,547 times
Reputation: 1499
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowlane3 View Post
Our small city has a conservative and a reform synagogue. The Conservative synagogue for whatever reason, is barely known. It does not advertise anywhere.

The Reform synagogue has open-house dinners and talks about their culture, once a year, to which anyone may come if they reserve in advance and pay. Many gentiles attend. They advertise occasionally in the weekly County newspaper. They have a different holocaust survivor give a speech, once a year. The Rabbi has been a friend of mine for 30 years (from a recreational club in the community) and he told me "Our congregation is mostly mixed-marriage families". He himself was raised Catholic, and belonged to 2 Protestant churches before re-discovering his Jewish roots in middle-age and becoming a rabbi.

Based on my knowledge about this Reform congregation, I am very surprised at the many harsh comments in this thread.

I would also encourage the OP to look into Unitarian Universalist congregations. UU's don't require adherence to any religious creed. Their members come from all backgrounds. It has been a highly respected denomination in America since the mid-1800s. He can find locations of congregations, listed on the UU website.
I guess it just depends where you are at, and whose synagogue. I think I will call my friend and ask him how many wackjobs show up at his synagogue. I know that it happens all the time just like people always protesting at the Israeli embassy in Houston, it may depend on the neighborhood in many cases where you have a synagogue surrounded by Anti-Semitics that have never even met a Jew.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:22 PM
 
Location: small Southern town balabusta
1,130 posts, read 1,430,863 times
Reputation: 749
I showed up several years ago after getting the courage to finally go. The doors were locked and I had to be buzzed in. I remember being incredulous that there was a library. The people didn't know me and either ignored me or looked at me like I had two heads. Undeterred, I showed up again. And again. Then I couldn't stop going and no one else was going to stop me.

I've never made a better decision in my life.

Shabbat Shalom!
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:28 PM
 
13,092 posts, read 13,683,396 times
Reputation: 9156
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1+1=5 View Post
I showed up several years ago after getting the courage to finally go. The doors were locked and I had to be buzzed in. I remember being incredulous that there was a library. The people didn't know me and either ignored me or looked at me like I had two heads. Undeterred, I showed up again. And again. Then I couldn't stop going and no one else was going to stop me.

I've never made a better decision in my life.

Shabbat Shalom!
why would you be incredulous there was a library?
Shabbat Shalom
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