22 October 2008

simchat torah...

So I was talking to my mom in the car (a practice usually reserved for weekends and pre- and post-grocery trips) last night and was able to pop the whole, "Bet you can't guess where I'm headed," thing. My confidence in her inability to guess my whereabouts came from the fact that I was en route to the synagogue.

My classes (Old Testament and NT Greek) went to the annual Simchat Torah celebration at Beth El Congregation in Durham. This is a yearly celebration where the congregation essentially celebrates, with reading, symbolism, and flat-out get-down dancing!

A couple of observations:
-We, as the Christian church, at times claim a high view of scripture, but it certainly doesn't come close to the beloved status of Torah to the Jews.
-I'd love to see the picture of Scott and I being led in a merry-go-round by a 6 year old girl speaking fluent Hebrew with a plush Torah doll.
-Being a visitor in a Jewish congregation I was able to be a "fly on the wall" of sorts. From that vantage I gathered the feeling of playfulness and warmth from the congregation. I mean here we are, a bunch of Christian seminarians crashing their party and instead of treating us like tourists they welcomed us, taught us, laughed with/and at us, danced with us, and shared in a truly festive celebration not with a bunch of Gentiles but with "cousins" in the family of God.

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