Synagogue Visit!

Tonight I visited a synagogue for the first time in my life. Coming from a “Church of England” background it was a very unique experience I won’t forget anytime soon.

Initially I planned to go with my partner, for moral support. But I emailed the congregation the wrong dates and my partner couldn’t make it. So I thought, you know what? What the heck! Just go and do it. The entire week leading up to this night I was battling my nerves. Especially me riding up on motorcycle to Exeter tonight. The fear kept telling my brain “Don’t do it, turn back, they will judge you.” But I inhaled, exhaled and went on.

I parked my motorcycle right next to the Schul. The building was positioned down an alleyway I had passed thousands of times but never actually noticed. Even the street was named “Synagogue”! How I had not noticed that before baffled me. I went up to the doors. I rung the bell a few times. Knocked the doors. No one in. I was about 30 minutes early. So a little bit eager.

Just moments after I was greeted by a great big man and another gentleman just behind him. I told them that I think I was a bit early and apologised.

We all went inside, I warmed up my hands from the cold bike ride up from Torquay. It was only about 20 miles but it takes its toll on your hands.

I spoke a little while about my interest in religions in general and Judaism. The man switched on the survelliance cameras which had me a little worried and also sympathetic. There were at least six different cameras set up to catch every view of the street. I could now see and prepare myself for more socialising as more and more people turned up to the door. I noticed bits of Hebrew up on the wall, old holocaust pictures, stars of David, it was very enlightening seeing it in person particularly meeting Jewish people in person also. As I chatted to Reese, we agreed that seeing things on the internet and experiencing them in real life are very different indeed.

I was then offered a prayer book and a Kippah to wear on my head. We all sat down to the back of the synagogue where the heating was most active. The inside was stunning. The place dated back from 1763.

The candles were then lit, a prayer was said, and we all sat back down.

We then started flipping through the book and reading. I was not speaking aloud as I was trying to observe what was going on around me, and what this strange language I was hearing meant. (Luckily they all had english text right next to the hebrew text, and also romanised characters of hebrew).

First off when everyone started singing in Hebrew I found it hard to settle in and let loose. There were some good voices and some bad and I found that distracting. But I really let myself go and learnt to just listen indiscriminately and really enjoyed the melodies and the sound of Hebrew. It was a very rough, but a very satisfying kind of language. Some parts were spoken in Hebrew and some in English. People around me were bowing as we reached the meditative parts of prayer and turning towards specific parts of the building, which at points I believed was facing towards Israel, Jerusalem. which I thought was respectful and also very mindful.

As the service came to an end, we all shook hands saying the phrase: “shabbat shalom!”

I then left the building, putting my biker gear on and reflecting on what I had just been through. Absorbing the melodies and thinking of the prayers.

It was a great religious experience and I recommend it to anyone interested in understanding and respecting other religions! Particularly in overcoming nerves and going out there and doing something for yourself!

And so the adventure still continues~

Goliath

I face a mountain

That looms over me

Its spikes and crags

I feel pointing through my soles

I’m cold

Warmed fear

Fear that washes over my body

Rinsing me from head to toe

A wave clearing sense from skin

But like the shepherd boy David with his sling

Shadowed by the mighty Goliath

Clad in gleaming golden armour

I will scale that mountain

Its spikes sneering

Its peak glaring

To rise with battered hands and feet

Calloused from wear

To feel the sun shine upon my face

Cleansing me of my fear

Leaving this mountain beneath me

Only to see the next mountain, higher

 

Another chance, to feel closer

 

To that light

 

Night Terror

Fire!

Leaked from the stars

The endless night

Raged

At the thought of light

Awake!

Men of Steel

Stand sharp and tall!

A thousand teeth

Unsheath and set themselves

To work on flesh that now hangs from bone

The hot fangs melting steel to skin

Awake men!

Stand sharp and tall!

The light will come for us

In the end

Anticipating Love

I shaked

And Shivered

My lips quivered

My hands trembling

At the thought of you near

My heart rattled in its cage

Begging to break out and be set free

My words dull and blase at the fear of exposure

To the pain rendered to me when I was younger

Fleeting dreams and thoughts of love trickle from my soul

I wish to swim through the sea to taste their bitter salts again

To feel love

 

 

Ants

An ant scout wanders into my room

It’s antenna seeing things I can’t

Pausing

It finds an apple core hidden in my bin

It leaves, out the front door

Returning with tens of thousands of ants

Flooding in

Organised groups, single file, regimented

Setting up logistics

Passing chunks of apple

To one another

Working as a close-knit team

 

What disgusts me isn’t the fact they’re grubby insects

Or they’re eating an old, rotten apple core

The juices still leaking in my bin

It’s the level of coordination

The intelligence

The teamwork

As they invade my home

It sickens me inside, right to the core

 

So

 

I invade theirs

I grab the ant killer powder

And kick it in, right deep inside their nest

 

That’ll teach the fuckers for being so clever