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VISITING STUDENTS INFORMATION

Welcome Visiting Students

Thank you for your interest in visiting The Temple. We firmly believe the words of Isaiah on our doors, “My house shall be a house of prayer for all peoples” and we are always delighted to welcome visitors and learners to our Temple community.

As you prepare for your visit to learn more about Judaism and Jewish worship services, we want to provide some information to help you feel more at ease. You are welcome to join us for either our Friday evening or Saturday morning worship experiences.  Our Friday evening worship services begin at 6:00 PM and last until about 7:15 PM. They are usually held in the Covenant Chapel but sometimes in our Sanctuary. Signs and greeters will welcome you whether you enter through the parking deck or our main entrance. On Saturday morning, we have Torah study from 9:00-10:15 AM in room 32 (enter through the parking deck and go to the third floor) and worship services at 10:30 AM. Attire for all of our worship services is business casual (no jeans).

The worship service will be lead from our Mishkan Tefilah prayer book. You will see Hebrew, English translations, and English transliterations so you may follow along and participate whether we are reading in Hebrew or English. There will be portions of the service where we ask everyone to stand. We know that you may be attending as part of a class assignment, yet we ask that you refrain from taking notes during the services to respect the sanctity of the worship. You are always free to go onto www.the-temple.org and follow the links to our LiveStream page to re-watch the worship service and write your notes down at that time. Also, there is no photography or recording permitted during the service.

On some select Friday evenings, a member of our Membership Committee will be in attendance and can answer some brief questions, although we will not be able to anticipate which Fridays in advance. 

Since our Shabbat (Sabbath) is Friday night through Saturday night, the clergy do not take appointments or interviews at that time. As such, we are providing some answers to commonly asked questions on this sheet. If you have additional questions, you are welcome to call during business hours (M-F, 9-5) and contact Nalo Grant at 404-873-1731 who can schedule a time for you to speak with a clergy person or educator by phone. If this visit sparks interest in further study of Judaism, we invite you to visit our Temple website to see our many classes offered on Monday evenings.

Thank you for visiting The Temple. We look forward to having you here!

 

FAQs BEFORE YOUR VISIT

Do Jews believe in Jesus?
The main difference between Jews and Christians is that Jews do not see Jesus as the messiah. While we as Jews see him as a historical figure, we do not see him as a religious figure and as such do not read or use the Christian Scriptures.
 
I’ve heard there are Jews who believe in Jesus?
There are people who call themselves “Messianic Jews” or “Jews for Jesus.” By accepting Jesus as messiah, they are Christians, not Jews. They take Jewish rituals but insert “Yeshua” into their blessings, which means Jesus. It can be confusing, particularly for those who do not know much about Judaism, because the services may “look Jewish,” but they are not Jews in any way.
 
What is the Torah?
The Torah is the Five Books of Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy). As Reform Jews, we study the Torah as a divinely inspired, humanly authored text, and believe that Torah continues to be relevant in guiding our lives. TaNaKh is the Hebrew term for our Bible, including Torah, Nevi’im (Prophets), and Ketuvim (Writings such as Psalms). Study of Scripture is an important part of Judaism.
 
What do Jews believe?
While we can’t speak for all Jews…as a Reform Jewish community, we believe that Judaism involves three main parts. First, God—a belief in one God. There are many understandings of God that come under the umbrella of Jewish belief, and we believe that it is up to us to reflect and ask questions to deepen our connection to God. Second, Torah—a belief that the Torah is a guide to Jewish living and is a way to further our connection to God and the Jewish people. Third, Israel—a connection to the people Israel (Jews around the world), the land of Israel, and the state of Israel. We believe that our commitment in these three ways leads us to acts of tikkun olam, being partners with God in repairing our broken world.
 
What do Jews do?
Reform Jews have a variety of ritual practices because Reform Judaism was founded upon the notion that ritual observance was something each individual could choose through their knowledge and understanding. This means that not all Reform Jews keep kosher, not all wear a tallit (prayer shawl) or kippah (head covering), and not all will observe Shabbat in the same way. Yet, we are unified in our core beliefs of God, Torah, Israel, and a commitment to social justice and tikkun olam (repairing the world).
 
Where can I learn more?
We encourage you to visit www.reformjudaism.org to learn more about Jewish rituals, holidays, and Reform Judaism. Also look at www.the-temple.org for more information about The Temple and its history, as well as upcoming services and programs.  
Mon, October 19 2020 1 Cheshvan 5781