1406 Mound Street
The first thing I noticed when I walked up to Beth Israel synagogue was that it didn’t have a steeple. Instead, above the main entrance it had Hebrew writing and a big Star of David. Then, when we got ourselves seated in the sanctuary, I was surprised to see that Y’ael’s (a girl who was in my brother’s class last year) father was the rabbi! We went around telling our names, and Rabbi Katz said most of our names were from Hebrew origin, including mine. It was Shmuel.
Then he showed us the Torah. He said it was similar to the Bible except in large scrolls.
There is an “open door” policy in all synagogues. Anyone is able to come in and it is not considered rude to come in during the middle of a ceremony.
Traditionally you are Jewish if your mother is Jewish. But now you can be considered Jewish if either parent is.
Rabbi Katz told us that there is no reason ever to be shy at a synagogue because the people there will always be friendly to you. That’s just the way it goes.
[The Torahs] are long scripts of parchment that you chant out of during the service on Saturdays. They had small print Hebrew that you had to read from right to left. They were covered in very elaborate coverings that represented the elaborate costumes of priests in the old days.
Wrapped in cloth
Of blue and gold
Of green and red
And of gray
With metal breastplates
And bells adorning
With ribbons blowing
In the artificial wind.
Like the stories
Of ancient times and