Updated: Oct 10, 2019
November 3, 2018. Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, Winnipeg, Manitoba
I am exited to share with you my experience at the Shaarey Zedek synagogue. This is part of my series, "Searching for Divinity." I am a legally blind woman who sees multidimensionally, or in simple terms, I see spirit. My partner and I are visiting sacred places to witness the divinity that is present there. We never know what we will see, but we have had really intriguing conversations with the congregations at these holy places and feel there may be many people who would be interested to enjoy our experiences by reading about them.
I was very excited to go to the synagogue. It was the first time I would be attending a service at one. I had been to one for a multi-faith share years earlier. Today, as I was writing this blog post, I decided to look up the meaning of the name of the Synagogue. It translates to the "Gates of Righteousness." As I got out of the truck, I saw so many heaps of gorgeous oak leaves and picked one up to carry into the synagogue with me. The week before a synagogue in Pittsburgh, USA suffered a tremendous tragedy. We came to support them in prayer.
We were welcomed with so much love. It was really very beautiful. A man helped us get our books and Taras was given a kippa to wear. The joy in the Synagogue was so beautiful. The congregation sang and even danced and it was just like a huge celebration. There were people celebrating birthdays and Bat Mitzvahs and everyone sang to them. I really loved the community feeling of it. One man came up to me and smiled and said how lovely, you have a leaf.
At the end of the service we were handed words to a song called "The Tree of Life!" I felt so happy that I listened to the guides and brought the oak leaf in to be part of the ceremony. The name of the synagogue that was attacked also happened to be the "Tree of Life."
The rabbi spoke about how we are literally all one. If you hurt someone, you hurt yourself and the whole of humanity. If you help someone, you help yourself and the whole of humanity. Taras had hoped that oneness would be the topic of the sermon and was so touched when, indeed it was!
I saw a large king in spirit at the front of the synagogue when we walked in. He had gray hair and a long beard. He was wearing a long bluish robe which looked like a hand loom cotton or linen. He was sitting on a throne. I think the throne was made of stone or really light coloured wood. It had a star of David at the top. He was reclining comfortably in the throne. He was wearing a crown with points on it, but I couldn't tell what it was made of. He said he was King David.
I felt a deep sense of reverence and an appreciation for family in this sacred place. The mother in law of the Rabbi happened to be the woman sitting in the pew in front of us and she invited us to share lunch with them after the service. We felt so welcome at both the service and the Kiddush.
If you would like to visit or learn more about the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue you can visit their website at the link below.
If reading this article has inspired you and you would like us to visit your place of worship, please contact us to arrange a visit by clicking here.