My First Cultural Immersion Experience

994 WordsJun 23, 20154 Pages
After my first cultural immersion experience interviewing Rabbi Tepper, I resolved to experience my second cultural immersion activity with the Jewish community. Ultimately, I wanted both of my encounters to be with one culture. I desired to achieve a deeper understanding of one culture, rather than gaining superficial understanding of two dissimilar cultures. Furthermore, I wanted my second immersion experience to consist of several activities. Rabbi Tepper was kind enough to invite me to attend Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) and Torah study. These comprised a large portion of my overall experience. My hope was to include an activity that was more intimate as well, such as social time spent in the home or a shared meal. As luck would have it, I was able to share a meal with the congregation after Shabbat. This meal was a celebratory meal of the conversion of two individuals to Judaism. I was rather nervous leading up to attending the Shabbat service (my first activity), but I was also excited. The nervousness partially stemmed from not knowing what the proper etiquette for attending a Shabbat service and part of it was just a general anxiety about experiencing something new and different. When I first arrived I felt very out of place, Rabbi Tepper immediately located me, greeted me warmly and introduced me to a family whom I could sit with and ask question should I have any throughout the service. The service took about an hour and a half. Much of the service consisted of hymns
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