A Touch of Class

f. rainne

Yom Kippur

The Day of Atonement.

Service was held in a hotel room. 10 people, an unorthodox minyan: 7 male and 3 female, 7 Jews and 3 non. We had Reformed Jewish and areligious, Orthodox Jewish and Syrian Orthodox Christian. Hebrew literacy ranged from moderate to none. A TV cabinet served as the Ark, an electric lamp as candles.

10 people, thousands of miles from home, hailing from scattered parts of the world, and skipping official services (or not) to be in San Diego to perform (for free) on the morrow, took turns leading the service by reading off five shared copies of a bilingual Reform Jewish text.

I may not have been comfortable with everything I read, but in a ceremony held like that, the words carried meaning and not just sound. Everyone agreed it was the best service they'd ever attended. As our atheist Orthodox Jew (the only one among us who could be considered a religious scholar) remarked, it was what religion should really be about.