World Religion Paper - Sundstrom 1 Cordray Sundstrom...

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Sundstrom 1 Cordray Sundstrom Professor R. Gala Introduction to World Religions 11020-007 09 December 2016 I. Community:
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Sundstrom 2 Judaism is the community that I chose to look further into. I visited the Hillel Center on the Kent Campus on November 18 th from 5:30-7:00pm. I arrived for the social hour at 5:30 to talk with some of the members who regularly attend the services the Hillel Center offers. I got to have a conversation with Rabbi Lee, who told me how the services work and what they do at each service. The night that I went, there was a traditional service, all in Hebrew, and a contemporary service, that consisted of less Hebrew and more English. Starting at 6:00pm there was a “welcoming” announcement to everyone that was attending. If one wanted to, one could go to the front table to light a candle and say a prayer silently. Next, Rabbi Lee prayed over everyone while they all put their hands over their eyes. I chose to go to the service upstairs, so that I would have a better understanding of what was going on. Upon entering the room, I picked up a Hebrew song book and a bulletin. Rabbi Lee played a song on the guitar and sang in Hebrew as we all entered the room, she was also wearing a tallit. I used the song book to follow along throughout the service. After singing a couple of songs, Rabbi Lee asked us to stand and follow her outside because that is where we can receive “shalom” or become whole and complete. We came back inside and she asked us to stand for the next few songs, pausing in between them to say a few things in English. A student then went up and read a few lines from the Torah. Next, we said a prayer for the people that need healing and one was allowed to yell out the name of a person that was in need. After, they said a prayer to those that were in their 11 month mourning period. Lastly, they sang another song in Hebrew and then the service was over. The experience, overall, was very eye- opening. It was very interesting to see how other people in different religions praise and have their service. II. Self-Reflection:
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Sundstrom 3 There was definitely some things that happened that were different and confusing for me to experience. I arrived before the service began at 6:00, that night, for the social hour starting at 5:30; there were lots of guests that had come early as well. I sat by some of the other students from the religion class but none of the regular attendees came up to us to introduce themselves. I think they knew we were only there to fulfil the need of the class, but you could tell we were secluded from the rest of the Jewish members. One thing that I did not understand the meaning of was the lighting of the candles. According to the staff at Chadbad.org, Sarah (from the Bible) lighted candles in her living space on the night of the Sabbath and they remarkably stayed lit until the next Friday. So when the members of the Hillel Center lit their candles, they were doing as Sarah did each Sabbath night.
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