Bruce Kroeze (invoke) wrote,
Bruce Kroeze

Judaism classes begin

Last Thursday I started my intro to Judaism classes. Dustin took the classes last year, but I couldn't take them at the same time since one of us had to stay home with Mia and Ian. I was really looking forward to the class after seeing Dustin's excitement, and it didn't let me down.

The first class was at Temple Beth Israel, which has got to be the best looking Synagogue on the west coast. It is Byzantine architecture, in a circular style of construction. There are about 40 people in the class. We each had a moment to introduce ourselves and explain what we hoped to get from the class. I was struck by the number of people converting from Catholicism. Beside them, there were several Mormons, There was one Witch, and two gay couples from "vaguely religious backgrounds". Most people were there for potential conversion.

The lecture was fairly short, since most of the time had been taken up with introductions. It gave a bit of background and covered a bit of Jewish philosophy. I was struck by the assertion that there is no Jewish creed. There is nothing that every Jew must agree upon to be an official Jew.

Afterwards, I went to my favorite bookstore in the world, Powell's World of Books (a whole city block in Downtown Portland) and picked up a couple of the "recommended reading" books. I highly recommend "The Book of Blessings" by Marcia Falk. It is absolutely beautiful.
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