Well on Yom Kippur I traveled to Hudson WI to visit Beth Immanuel for their services. I was very nervous and almost backed out, though I knew if I did I would regret it. I went to a quick service with prayers at G’s house with the kidlets and then I dropped them off with my mother until my hubby got off work and could pick them up. It was going to be a two hour drive there and back so I knew I wasn’t going to be able to take the kids with me and keep them happy. The drive up there went by pretty fast as I listened to the audio of a couple of classes on the fall festivals to get me in the mood.
I arrived at 2:00 about an hour early for the afternoon prayer service and I was greeted by a lovely woman and her husband who told me what to expect during the service, where to look for the Machzorim and told me that they would have gluten free food available to to break the fast, she also introduced me to her son who was going to be chanting the last two prayer services. I decided to go ahead and sit down in the sanctuary and do some reading while waiting for the last half an hour to go by before services started. I found a Machzor and flipped through it to find the page for the afternoon service and glanced around, the bema was in the middle of the sanctuary with the front half of the pews facing in and the ark was in the front. I was a nice calming place to be in and I enjoyed taking in the details of everything.
The time before the prayer service passed quickly as there was a bit of people watching to do and I also read a some of the introduction to the Deliztch Hebrew Gospel in the seats. The actual prayer service was pretty quick, the Torah portion was chanted in Hebrew which gave me goose bumps and the reciting of the Amidah in whispered quiet was awe inducing. On Yom Kippur is it traditional to beat your chest when reciting all of the sins committed in the previous year and the sound of fists hitting chests and the echo as people around the sanctuary did this at their own speed and timing gave special weight to the failing at God’s Law we do everyday.
I have to say the best part of the whole day was between the last two prayer services. There was a brief talk about Beth Immanuel’s Chevrah society and how logistics in the Twin Cities and surrounding Wisconsin area worked in regards to traditional Jewish burial laws. Afterwards I was able to speak with two women who made feel welcomed like I’ve never felt welcomed in a church before. ❤ They felt like long lost sisters in Yeshua. I was able to talk with Mr. Lancaster for a little bit and meet his lovely wife, he also gave me a hardcover copy of Restoration to lend out as my previous copy was eBook. I also got to meet the lovely woman who is the voice that introduces the podcasts they record, her children are close in age to mine. It was a lovely time between services, I wish it wasn’t such a long drive that I could visit more frequently.