Friday, September 25, 2009

Benching in the synagogue

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Every Friday some of us meet at RuneE's Visual Norway to share our Bench of the Week. You are invited to do the same. Have a seat.

These simple benches are where I will most likely be sitting for parts of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, which begins this Sunday afternoon and ends on Monday night.
The women's section (on the upper floor) is not very big.
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Those semi-transparent curtains will be closed during the prayer service; but rest assured, the women in the front row will be peeking through this mechitsa to watch the men-folk and boys and Torah scrolls below.
What you can just see through the railing in this stealth photo is the top of the Torah ark.

Sometimes I think there is only one bench outside in front of our village synagogue in order not to tempt people to take a break from the hours and hours of Yom Kippur liturgy inside.
It is usually very hot on Yom Kippur, which makes the 26-hour fast (no water, no food) not so easy.
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Last year I walked uphill in the hot sun for 45 minutes (NO cars, buses, or even planes run on the most holy day of the year) to Hadassah medical center for an Ashkenazi rite Yom Kippur. (The moshav where I live has only the Sephardic synagogue, whose nusach I am less familiar with.) The Hadassah synagogue has the famous twelve stained glass windows by Marc Chagall (the post is here).
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Sadly, the rabbi of our village died several weeks ago. Rest in peace, Rav Avraham.
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14 comments:

RuneE said...

You have taken us into a place where we otherwise never would have come - and learning much in the process!

B SQUARED said...

Best wishes for a joyous, peaceful holiday.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Shalom Dina and God bless ALL of us and the world as a whole!

PERBS said...

Interesting background with your bench! Thanks for sharin your celebration with us through the benches.

Cloudia said...

Having been raised Reform, it always gives a bit of a shock when I walk in to Chabad and see the seperate sections...then the hours of service are hard on me. I'm not elderly enough to have a "pass" on fsting, but it is hard and I think a liquid fast will do it this year for me. Everyday is a day of awe for me. I observe the holidays - but am not bound by them (except in some guilt). I feel Jewish until I enter the Synagogue, then I feel like I'm not J enough.......thanks for the psycho analysis, Dina ;}

All the Best to YOU. May you be inscribed and sealed!
Aloha My Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Petrea said...

For a moment I thought you were going to sit on that bench for 26 hours. Had to re-read! Have a blessed holiday.

FA said...

I've never been in a synagogue - except into the basement for a Seder meal. I hope to, someday. Please know that I will be supporting you, with prayer, during your fast.

I enjoyed seeing the twelve stained glass window. Thanks for linking those.

Condolences on the loos of your village rabbi.

Dimple said...

I wished Duta a blessed fast, and she thanked me and told me that you say 'Have an easy fast.' Well, I'm not so sure that the fast is supposed to be easy, but I wish you both a blessed and an easy fast. May God speak clearly to you this Sunday.

Lawstude said...

sorry about his death. have a great day ahead.

pasadenaadjacent said...

walked without water? that sounds dangerous

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

This was a very nice post and I enjoyed it and the look at the neighborhood so to speak. The bench seems like it would be used a lot in the shade if it is that hot.

The story you read on my Abe Lincoln Blogs is like telling how we went to school and nobody ever went to a doctor or a hospital except the one time Gerald Fisher shot himself with a rifle while crossing a fence. He was hunting rabbits when he did it. In my story about going to school and telling about people never going to the hospital, I included him and his shooting to illustrate the point that he went because he had shot himself that year and while there it was discovered he had double pneumonia which probably saved his life as his folks would never have sent him to the hospital with pneumonia but would because he shot himself.

Those were the days before medicare and hospitalization insurance. Nobody had insurance for a trip to the hospital. So if you went you had to pay for it out of your pocket. We did that even when we first got married.

Tom said...

RIP Rav Avraham

Dina what a great Bench post this is..... I still get a buzz from learning something new..

Kay said...

I would not be good with the fasting.

I'm so sorry for your loss, Dina.

Petrea said...

Cloudia's comment prompts me to say the following (and I'm not Jewish): The separation of men and women in more traditional synagogues has always been a source of questions for me. But Dina, I use you as an example. You are one of the most tolerant people I've ever met. I think, "What would Dina say?" and I imagine you'd say, "Ah, that is what they choose for themselves, so it's right for them." So there's my answer.