I chose to go to the Jerusalem Great Synagogue.
Well, another week has passed and it has been a tiresome one. I’ve learned a lot about Israel. I also celebrated Yom Kippur in Jerusalem. We started off going on the bus with the kids from AHA. That was fun! The bus had USB adapters in the ceiling, so everyone would charge their phones and they would hang from the ceiling. I thought it looked really funny. We arrived at the hostel, a really nice hostel. We go to our rooms and have a couple hours to get settled and get ready for services. I chose to go to the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. Asher accidentally flooded my hostel room. He was a little crazy with the movable shower head. The water flooded my room and the hallway and the room across from mine. I got dressed in my best. A teal and blue tie with a white shirt and a teal sweater with grey pants and my boots. I grabbed my Tallis and put my Kippah on. I went to the Great Synagogue and separated from my girlfriends. I sat next to a man who immediately offered “if you don’t understand something, let me know and I’ll help you”. I enjoyed watching the choir and seeing the architecture of the Synagogue. We also went into the streets and sat in the middle of them. There was an intersection where a big circle of people were singing songs. It was so cool to see no cars on a busy road. I helped start singing arm in arm Hallelujah on the way back to the Hostel. It was absolutely beautiful and I’ll never forget the memory of walking with my family singing songs through the empty streets of Jerusalem on Yom Kippur.
I was in bed early and the next morning got ready for services at HUC. HUC is Hebrew Union College. They are a common reform rabbinic university. They led a service and it really made me miss my service at home. I also really missed my amazing Temple Emanu-El with our amazing dome ceiling. Later that day we went to the Kotel, where I got to experience the Reform section. Smaller than I envisioned, but still amazing, the woman led service took my breath away. I loved seeing men and women standing together praying at the holiest place for Jews. We broke the fast together and headed home. It was amazing celebrating such an important holiday in such a holy place. A place where thousands of Jews prayed for the same things. Everyone wanted repentance and it was awesome. Crazy how I can walk in the street and not be run down by a car. Crazy how I can go around the city and see nobody in their shops and no food being sold. Crazy how conservative everyone is in the area towards the keeping of Shabbat during Yom Kippur. Crazy how I got to experience this with my new family.