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World Religions Report Hum 130

2165 words - 9 pages

The religion that I have chosen to discuss is the Jewish religion, or Judaism. In seeking information about Judaism, I conducted an interview at the Beth Israel Congregation near downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina. The synagogue is located at 2204 Morganton Rd., only a few miles from downtown Fayetteville and only a few miles from a major shopping mall in the area. Upon arriving at the synagogue in the afternoon heat of nearly 90 degrees, I was surprised to see the plush gardens to one side of the building. There is a beautiful walking path through a well-manicured lawn. The concrete path leads to a rectangular gazebo overgrown with vine. The small to medium trees and bushes on the property are perfectly maintained and are arrayed in vibrant colors. As I made my way to the front entrance, I noted the light colored brickwork and matching stonework on the front of the building. The building itself gives the appearance of a two story structure with its abstract sculpture, but upon further investigation, the highest part of the building is simple a raised inner ceiling.When I entered the building, I was greeted by Rabbi Yosef Levanon and conducted to his office for my interview after a brief look around the synagogue, which did not include . The Rabbi seems to be a pleasant man who showed a great deal of patients in setting up and carrying out the interview. Through conducting the interview, I found that the Fayetteville, NC Beth Israel congregation had originally been given a charter as an "Orthodox Jewish Faith." The Beth Israel Congregation was established in May of 1917. The first brick of foundation was not laid until 1922. This original Beth Israel Synagogue was at a location on Cool Spring Street in Fayetteville, NC. The building that is now the Beth Israel Congregation worship center was constructed on Morganton Rd. in 1950, and dedicated in December of that year. Growth through the years prompted expansion with the addition of classrooms and a sanctuary. In October of 1972, the congregation changed its by-laws and became a "Conservative Congregation." In approximately 1995 or 1996, they began to include women in the aliyahs. This is the "Law of Return" in which any Jew may claim the legal right to assisted migration and settlement in Israel. This includes automatic citizenship (Wikipedia, 2008). In 1998, the congregation began including women in the minyan (a quorum of 10 men required for certain prayers) (Y. Levanon, personal communication, August 6, 2008).My interview with Rabbi Levanon covered a number of other issues. When asked what the important holidays and traditions of Judaism are, the rabbi responded that the Sukkot, Purim, Passover, Sabbath, Shavot, Rosh Hashanah, and the Day of Atonement were all important to the Jewish faith. I then asked which he felt were the most important of these. He responded that the Passover and Day of Atonement were probably the most important. The rabbi maintains the position that Judaism has shaped...

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