Sunday, September 19, 2010

third visit: Sept 18th 2010 Reform Judaism, Yom Kippur

4:00 pm saturday
Yom Kippur Services at Rodef Shalom

intended but missed this time: Congregation Bet Tikvah
4905 5th Ave, Pittsburgh PA 15213

I had been wanting to take part in one of Bet Tikvah's services because of a personal interest in the manners in which different religions address gender. The Bet Tikvah congregation has created their "own gender-neutral siddur, mahzur, and haggadah, which consist of traditional Hebrew prayers, English translations, poems, and meditations." Fascinating, no? Moreover, services are led by congregation member volunteers. The service I attend is a true gathering in that Bet Tikvah convenes in the same building as Rodef Shalom's congregation for High Holidays. The main sanctuary here: spatially stunning (huge) and truly gorgeous.

Note added 9-20-10: I just recieved an email from Deb at Bet Tikvah, and apparently her congregation did have a service in the same building, but separate from the one I attended—in a room in a different section of the building. I actually had a feeling to this affect upon arriving and even asked more than one greeter, finally settling in after I was assured by a kind dear well-meaning gentleman that Bet Tikvah was included in this service. Though I thoroughly value my experience at Rodef Shalom, I am of course a little sad for intended opportunities missed and definitely slightly embarrassed. The good thing is that I am looking forward to attending a future Bet Tikvah gathering. Plans are in the works.
In the end, of course, there is no loss. Please read on about Rodef Shalom's service:

Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement, the end of the Jewish High Holidays. The book of life is sealed—solemnity. A mourning of those who have passed during the year, names spoken aloud. I lost a friend in Portland, Oregon just this past Thursday, whose family is Jewish. The service's solemnity was certainly felt. I think of him again this evening while I sew (to my dress) the fabric-and-embroidery-addition that corresponds to this service. Meditation in the synagogue, continued meditation in the studio. For many, art-making and meditation are inseparable.
(...and apparently for some Monks, see 76th visit, 4th paragraph)

Yizkor— a service of remembrance.
One of the four Rabbis states, "We remember because we cannot forget." universal truth that even those who claim not to be religious cannot easily dismiss. 

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