Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Chidren's Place in Church

Our parish has coffee hour in the crossing of our nave. It makes our church building feel much more like home.
Although our children don't do this during worship, I delight in the places our children are drawn to after the service.

Under the altar:

And under (and often in) the pulpit:

I believe grandpa God is chuckling.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Writing a Letter on a Torah Scroll

Recently I was part of a profoundly moving event. A trustee has donated a Torah scroll to Hillel at Kenyon College. This scroll was hidden during the Holocost by a Roman Catholic priest, and a few years ago was salvaged by a Rabbi whose life calling is to save and refurbish scrolls lost in the Holocost.

Around 100 of us were invited to write a letter of the scroll. The rabbi spoke to us beforehand about his calling, his group, and this scroll in particular. And then, he helped us write the a word on the scroll.

In Jewish understanding, writing a Torah is about as close to God as you can get. The Rabbi said that as we are writing our letter, we will be as close to God as the Rabbi that is giving offering in the most holy of holies (the most interior space of the temple). Jewish lore says that anything you pray for while writing a Torah will be heard and answered.

We said a prayer before we began, I washed my hands, and then together the Rabbi and I used a turkey feather quill and blessed ink to fill in several letters at the end of Deutoronomy on this scroll. It was a holy moment, and I am so thankful for having the gift of the invitation to do this.