My synagogue is a small one, compared to most. It is part of a multi-purpose building, which houses rooms for teaching/study, a social room, and other rooms. The main, prayer sanctuary is small, and its interior structure is simple, including the accessories for the Torah Scrolls.
There is a small Jewish community where I live. And, the synagogue fits the needs of all who gather together, whether adolescents, teens, young adults, middle aged Jews, and senior citizens. We are a small, but mighty community, and we band together to strengthen each other, to pray, to educate our children and adults, to socialize, to help those in need, whether Jews, or other individuals in the surrounding areas of the city.
I feel comfortable in this small prayer sanctuary, and it feels like the right format to be holding services, whether Shabbat or festival services. This year Rosh Hashanah services were streamed, and I watched them from home. Actually, I have watched Shabbat services from home, on occasion, due to weather, or other circumstances that were beyond my control. There were six individuals in the prayer sanctuary, including the Rabbi, who physically facilitated, and participated in the services. There were four others who facilitated, online.
Many of the decorations are handmade, by congregants past, and present, as you can see, from my few photos that I took during our streaming service. Some were embroidered, made through needlepoint, quilting, and sewn together.
I liked being able to photograph the four scenes that I did. It is a strong reminder of the services, the prayer sanctuary, and the accessories that congregants have made in order to decorate our two Torah Scrolls. I am glad to have these to look back on, during times of uncertainty, bringing me comfort and stamina.
We had quite a few participants during the streaming. It was nice to be able to see the names and faces of those attending the services. Most of them were the ‘regulars’, as our Jewish community is composed of individuals who attend Shabbat weekly. There were only two individuals that I did not recognize. We are a close knit group, a stable group, there for each other within our inner group, and there for the city, community as a whole.
Rosh Hashanah has ended. Erev Yom Kippur will be here before we know it. Now, we continue to pray, meditate, ask for forgiveness for what we feel we might have done wrong, and seek to be mindful, respectful, sensitive to others, during the coming days. This should not only be because Yom Kippur will be here in the blink of an eye, but because this is the way we should always behave, as decent, caring, kind humans. We are all one, under the sun.
Humankindness equals human kindness. _____
Copyright Lorri M.