Religion Essay

Submitted By reggiesmooth
Words: 1398
Pages: 6

REL 2011 A Visit to a Sacred Site Regg Penn Religion is defined as a HYPERLINK http// beliefs concerning the cause, HYPERLINK http//, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs ( I was baptized and raised in an Episcopal Church. The purpose of this paper was to visit a sacred site and report on what I experienced and saw. I felt that visiting another Christian denomination would have been to close, value wise to my own denomination. So I decided to visit a Jewish synagogue, in other words a Jewish Temple. Judaism is defined as the monotheistic HYPERLINK http// the Jews, having its ethical, ceremonial, and legal foundation in the precepts of the Old Testament and in the teachings and commentaries of the rabbis as found chiefly in the Talmud ( The most important teaching of Judaism is that there is one God, incorporeal and eternal, who wants all people to do what is just and merciful. All people are created in the image of God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect ( I visited the Bet Breira Samu-El Or Olom synagogue, located on 9400 Southwest 87th Street, Miami, Florida 33176 on the 10th of this month. It was a Friday evening, the day before the Jewish Sabbath. Upon arrival, I was intrigued with the pyramid like shaped building. I was accompanied by my fellow classmate Daniel whos mother, had ties to the temple when he was younger. We were both greeted and treated kindly regardless of the fact of being slightly underdressed. Most people were semi-formally dressed. I quickly noticed that every one was wearing tiny hats on there heads. Research showed that they are called Kippahs. There are a few stories on where the Kippah came from. One of them goes as follows. The Talmud relates two stories about the custom of covering ones head. In one place it says, Rav Huna the son of Rabbi Joshua never walked four cubits with his head uncovered. He said, because the Divine Presence is always over my head (Talmud, Kiddushin 32a) (Simmons). I also saw a large area towards the centre of the temple that was raised and that had what looked like a cabinet covered in cloth. I also saw a strange looking lamp. Research showed that cabinet is called the Ark. The ark is where the Jewish holy book and scriptures are kept. In front of and slightly above the Ark, you will find the ner tamid, the Eternal Lamp. This lamp symbolizes the commandment to keep a light burning in the Tabernacle outside of the curtain surrounding the Ark of the Covenant (Rich). The Jewish service that I was attending is called the Shabbat, which can be translated to Sabbath. The Sabbath is the holy day of rest the God took when creating the earth. Their Sabbath is on Saturday but there is also a service that is conducted on a Friday evening. A lady seemed to know that my friend and I were visitors. She greeted him and myself with smiles and she extended a warm welcome to the temple. She then went on to explain that the particular service we were about to experience would be slightly different from that of a regular service. In the beginning of the service there was a play performed by the children of the synagogue. The play was based on a few bible stories. One of the stories used as a theme was the Ten Commandments. Throughout the service a special book was used for prayers. The book is called the Siddur. It consists of prayers and songs. I picked up the book and I realized it was upside down. The numbers ran from large to small. For example, 9, 8, 7, 6 But I opened another and it was no different. I found that to be quite interesting. The writing in the book was mainly in Hebrew. However,