My Cultural Experience At Temple Beth El Of Fort Myers

1237 WordsSep 29, 20155 Pages
I chose to do my cultural experience at Temple Beth El of Fort Myers. There I attended there Friday night Shabbat Service where they worship though song. I chose to bring a long a friend of mine who has a Jewish family members hoping for a little insight in order to understand what has happening during the service. She has been to a few services and was able to explain all the things in the church and the parts of the ceremony I would not have understood if I was alone. She gave me a lot of insight about the things they wear and informed me a lot of their custom. I had heard previously that the Shabbat service is mainly in Hebrew, therefore I wanted to bring someone a long that could help answer some of the questions I was expecting to…show more content…
As we walked in there were a lot of differences I noticed immediately. One of the architectural features I notices was this wooden structure on the wall filled with plaques. These represented members of their community who have died in years past, it was called the Yahrtzit. The sanctuary had pews to sit on which looked like curved wooden benches. There was also the stand of podium which in Jewish culture is known as the Bimah. At the head of the church was an arc known as Aron Kodesh. Which is where the Torah is. What is interesting is right above it there is a little light called the Ner Tamid, which means eternal light and it always stays on. As you sit in the pews there are prayer books behind each seat so you can fallow along with the readings. The book we used to fallow along was called the Siddur. What was nice was the prayers were in Hebrew with an English translation so I could fallow along. The rabbi would yell out the page number that we are on during prayer but if you were to miss it, I had the guide that I got when I entered the lobby so that was extremely helpful. In the middle of the service we jump to a Torah reading, so we had to put away the first book and then open what’s called a Chumash. Each week they read a different part of the Torah that way each year they read through the entire cycle. Throughout the service they stand and sit depending on the prayer they are saying. When the arc opens is when everyone stands, and this is for a sign of

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