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Questions about Judaism

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by NYstudent, May 1, 2021.

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  1. NYstudent

    NYstudent New Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I currently a student attending a college in New York. I was wondering if anyone could help me out and answer 4 questions I have about being Jewish? I am currently writing an observational study about Judaism and Jewish people and your input would be greatly appreciated.

    4 questions:

    Were you raised by Jewish parents or relatives, if so what was your early life like practicing Judaism? If you were not raised by Jewish parents or relatives, why did you choose Judaism?

    I recently watched a Synagogue service and saw alot of singing. My two questions are: Do you go to a Synagogue service regularly? What is the Synagogue you attend or have attended like (is there alot of singing, preaching etc.)?

    What does the word shalom mean to you?

    How has COVID-19 affected you as a Jewish person? Have you went to Synagogue service since COVID-19 (if so, online or in person)? If you have went have you noticed anything different in the services (different preaching/ prayers, social distancing, mask wearing, etc.)?
     
  2. Harel13

    Harel13 Am Yisrael Chai
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    I was raised Orthodox Jewish and still am. Anything more specific you'd like to know?
    I do.
    Some singing, usually only on Shabbat or holidays, during specific parts of prayer.
    I don't know how you define preaching exactly. On the same days, Shabbat and holidays, you'll often have the rabbi or someone else say a "dvar Torah", a Torah-based idea on the weekly Torah portion, the current or upcoming holiday, or another event. Sometimes at the end it'll be a call for personal introspection. Is that preaching?
    Peace in Hebrew, one of God's names and a greeting in Hebrew.
    Prayers never changed because of Covid. During the first shutdown in Israel, I listened a few times to a service that was held in a radio station. Since then services have been allowed, either outside or inside with certain rules, social distancing, masks, etc.
    Many of the dvar Torahs were naturally tied to Covid in some way or another.
     
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  3. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    1) I was born a Jew. I was raised within the Conservative movement. I am now a rabbi affiliated with the (USA) Reform movement.
    2) Yes, I attend synagogue regularly. Long before I entered the rabbinate It was my practice. These days it is also an occupational hazard. The congregation mixes traditional forms of chanting with more contemporary musical modes. I don’t like the term preaching, it conjures up images for me of over the top emotional exhortations. I do deliver sermons and I, or a member of the congregation will share a d’var Torah.
    3) @Harel13 has provided a good understanding of shalom.
    4) For me, the biggest impact of the pandemic has been the challenges it has raised in trying to fulfil the pastoral role of a rabbi.
     
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  4. rosends

    rosends Well-Known Member

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    Both my parents were born Jews and I was raised as a born Jew. While we grew up going to a Conservative synagogue, I was sent to Orthodox day school and high school. In the house we followed Orthodox Jewish law, balanced with an understanding of the non-Jewish world. My parents were not brought up religious so they learned from me and my siblings and added things to the household practice as we taught them.
    I work in a Jewish school so we hold services there during the week and on the sabbath I attend a local synagogue. I'm not much into singing during prayer so I prefer services that focus on saying the words and not singing them. On the sabbath, the rabbi sometimes discusses issues of text or law, but I go to an early service and he isn't always there.
    As has been noted, the Hebrew word is a name of God, a word meaning "peace" (or hello/goodbye, which really is just a wish for peace upon the other person) and a proper name.
    My mother died during the pandemic but I was unable (due to lockdown) to get to services consistently for a while. Now, things have eased up a bit. I pray with a mask on (either inside or outside), in my pod of 1, distanced from others. The liturgy is the same (though, early on, when public services first resumes, we started half-way in to minimize the time of prayers).
     
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  5. Wandering Monk

    Wandering Monk Well-Known Member

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    Have gone to visit synagogues several times and never heard a rabbi give a d'var Torah, because there was always a Bar/Bat Mitzvah who would do that! LOL
     
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