I had that title listed as my facebook status message and I got this response by one of my friends, "I was seriously confused for a moment, and then remembered its the Jewish new year." Yes, this past Saturday was the Jewish new year, or Rosh Hashanah in Hebrew. I went to services, but haven't quite decided on a temple in Baton Rouge so actually went to a service at each one.
There's really only two main temples in Baton Rouge, quite different from where I grew up. Both temple are technically reform, although one is definitely more religious than the other. Friday night, for Erev Roshanah services, I took the boy with me and we went to the less religious temple.
The temple has the bigger congregation of the two by far. They are actually a little less religious than the reform temple I grew up going to. For example, Jewish prayer books are normally backwards from an English book in that the read from right to left. But the prayer books they used went from left to right, which bothered me probably more than it should have. I had gone to one service there last year and really liked their rabbi. Except she was no longer there, and I wasn't as big of a fan of their new rabbi.
For services the following morning I went to the more religious synagogue. The number one thing I like about this one is that it is literally right down the street from my apartment. What's interesting is that this temple calls themselves a reform temple I think in an attempt to mainly to not turn people away who don't want to go to a conservative service. But even so the service itself seemed much more like a conservative one. For example, they had 2 days of services for Rosh Hashanah which is normally done only at conservative temples. What I did like was the amount of participation by the congregants, far more than at the other one. Although, there were times when it seemed like everyone else knew the Hebrew to a certain prayer that I didn't. Although I'm sure if I went to services there more often it would start to come to me.
Something else I didn't like at the second temple was that they didn't blow the shofar. I was a little surprised by this and looked it up on-line. It turns out you're not supposed to blow the shofar on Sabbat, and this year Rosh Hashanah happened to fall on a Saturday. If I had gone to the second day of services I would have heard it. And I think if I had gone to services at the first less religious temple they probably would still have blown the shofar.
Overall, I can't say I've made a final decision. Although, since I'm not going to services very regularly I guess I don't feel a huge need to. For Yom Kippur in a few weeks, I think I'll wind up going to all services at the more religious temple, but more for a convenience sake than anything else.
And also, LSU won this weekend. What a great way to start off the new year!
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