I can't tell you how priveledged it is to have these great friends. They welcome us with open arms into their world. Being a Christian my whole adult life, I never knew much about Judiasm. After visiting a few synagogues in different cities, I think I'm getting a better understanding of it-and I have a deep appreciation of it.
I always get a bit anxious before we visit a Jewish community. I know that most folks in each congregation will not be open to hearing from a Christian pastor. I'm almost certain that there have been meetings and debates behind the scenes. Our Christian history has so hurt our 'elder brothers' in the faith that we have to walk very tenderly. Thankfully by the end of Victor sharing CUFI's message, many will be accepting and relieved.
When I go to a Shabbat service, I almost feel like I'm time-traveling. As the Psalms and prayers are sung by everyone, and harmonies are strikng a wonderful chord, I am almost transported into ancient history. I love it! It usually gives me a 'Whoa!' moment.
This weekend it at Beth Sholom, a young man was being Bar Mitzvah'd. He was up on the Beema and you could see the pride in his parents eyes. When he went to the ark and took out the scrolls to walk the aisles, you could feel the love coming at this young man. I always like how, as the scrolls are carried in the aisle, everyone turns to follow it. No one is supposed to have their back to the Word of God.
After he recited what he learned and had given his speech, everyone threw candy at him and then the little children ran up to gather it. Rabbi Felipe gave an encouraging message and charge to the young man. It was a message about helping to make the world a better place. We certainly could use more of that.
Victor sold some books and we made some new friends. Building bridges is a good thing :D
Thanks to Avi, Kam, your children too. We will see you next week at the Night to Honor Israel. Your hospitality is so appreciated and we love you guys!!