Global and Cultural Perspectives
3 February 2010
Visiting a Different Religion
This past Friday January 29, I attended a Jewish Mincha, or afternoon prayer, in comparison to the Shacharis, or morning prayer, held earlier that day. My class prevented me from observing that. I visited Congregation Poale Zedeck in Squirrel Hill just outside of Downtown Pittsburgh. I sat in the balcony with the other women because I was trying to respectfully observe their faith and was very unfamiliar with their traditions. It was a good thing I left my dorm early because I had some trouble driving in the rush hour traffic. The entrance was through a great beautiful stone archway with blue satined glass windows around the stonework. From the outside the building looked very much like a church. When I got inside there were many stained glass windows, but what caught my attention is the beautiful blue and white domed high ceiling, with a magnificent crystal chandelier, unlike I had ever seen in a Christian Church. I could barely believe how beautiful the sight was.
I have to admit I was pretty nervous being by myself to somewhere new like this. I informed a gentleman at the entrance who seemed to be some sort of greeter, and he informed me that the women sit in the balcony or off the side area separated from the men. I sat up in the balcony where I had a good view of the ceiling.
There were some similarities in the Jewish faith service compared to my own. To start with I was raised as a Christian and went to Mars United Presbyterian Church in Mars, Pennsylvania. When I was young my father was even one of the Deacons at the church. The layout of the church that I went to in comparison to the Jewish Synagogue where very similar. The shape of the synagogue was similar to that of my church at home. Both of the leaders of the sabbath ceremony in the Jewish faith and in my own were led by a male that wore ceremonial robes, tho not the same....