Sunday, June 08, 2014

Friday night services at the Neue Synagogue Berlin

No trip for me would be complete for me without attending the Friday might service where we welcome the Shabbos into our week. 
The chosen house of worship had been built in 1869 and mostly destroyed in a structural fire on kristallnacht by the Nazi's. 
To prevent violence three armed Berlin police officers guarded the entrance. Your bags went through x ray and you walked through metal detectors. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Synagogue,_Berlin

It has been partially rebuilt but parts remain hazardous. Services are held in the dome up a three floor decorated marble staircase.  The building reminded me of the Old Oakland Railroad station. That is now abandoned but open to the public on supervised rare occasions. 

The Rabbi is a woman who was most welcoming suggesting that while in town we make the Synagogue "our home".  
About thirty people of all ages were in attendance. 

Being raised by German Jewish immigrants in NYC the tunes for the songs were reminiscent of those sung in the family Shul.  Much of the more recent services I attended in the States had quite different melodies.  The final prayer Adon O Lom had the same rousing chorus as it did in my memory. 

Most spiritually moving part of the ceremony for me was when an older woman who may have been a survivor lit the Shabbos candles. 

I wondered what it would be like to be a Jew in modern day Berlin would be like. This experience did not hold any answers but it may have brought me a memory I always hold dear to my heart.

4 comments:

jherz said...

Your parents would be happy knowing you went.

Andrew Winters said...

Nice commentary - I like the photo of you on the stairs - as though asking some question that cannot be answered as the people walk by..thanks for posting this.

DAEPRO said...

Thanks Judy & Andrew. Nice to read your comments. You appear to be my biggest fans.
Judy: as for my parents being happy I am not sure what they would think. My father might say its a waste of $$$.

Ron Baum said...

It is kind of a back to the future trip that you're on. I'm sure that there is lots of stuff that reminds you of days back in the heights. I enjoy your observations and insight.