This rabbi stops for nobody

monday-morning-services-at-the-largest-synagogue-in-tehran

Am in the early stages of fasting for Yom Kippur. This is the most religious Jewish holiday of the year, which means I probably shouldn’t be blogging. But since I don’t eat pork or milk and meat together, I think I’m cool.

Attended synagogue tonight with my sister in law. A riveting occurence happened, oh, 30 minutes into the service, and I’m not quite sure what to think. The temple holds about 800 people—a humongous building with four or five Torahs and a rabbi, an assistant rabbi, a cantor and a student cantor. It’s so big there are actually TV monitors scattered throughout, just to help those in the back. Anyhow, I’m sitting, listening, when I see a happening to my left. People are swarming around, whispering, walking fast, when—BOOM!—the paramedics enter the room. They wheel out an elderly man who appears to be several steps removed from the morgue.

Thing is, throughout the entire ordeal, nothing stopped. The rabbi kept talking, the cantor kept singing. Leah, my sister in law, turned to me and whispered, “How many doctors do you think are here?” My guess was 50. Hers was 100.

I just sort of thought that, on the day of atonement, perhaps the rabbi should have stopped the service to make sure everything was OK; should have said, “Ladies and gentlemen, let’s reflect silently for a moment or two while …”

Instead, it felt weird. We’re all praying, going along to go along, while this guy might be kicking the bucket.

Shalom.

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