Freshmen Temple Beth El Visit
In 1998, she arrived in Charlotte as a rabbi at Temple Beth El. In 2003, she became the senior rabbi of the Reformist Jewish temple. She is a voice for those in need who cannot speak for themselves, and as a result she has been honored many times over by the community. In 2013, on Oct 15, Rabbi Judith Schindler spoke to a gathering of the Freshmen CORE students as they embark on a journey through the Jewish Study Bible.
“Our trip to Temple Beth El was more eye-opening than I had imagined it would be. We learned so much! I had been considering converting to Judaism, and our trip to the temple confirmed for that this is the right decision,” said Julie Ludovici, class of 2017.
Schindler explained that each Torah is a hand written scroll. It takes one year to write a Torah…if the scribe takes naps, as one scribe joked when Schindler spoke with him on a recent visit to Israel. Because if one word is wrong the whole page must be buried, the words of the Torah are written on different pages. These pages are then sewn together. The pages form a scroll. The freshmen are reading the Torah in a typed book form. This way, if they drop it, they do not have to fast for 40 days as one would if they dropped the Torah in temple. When Professors Jennifer Daniels and Mike Tarabek held the Torah, they did not drop it.
Once the Torah was put away into the Arc behind the alter, Schindler explained the Jewish faith. The most important aspect of the Jewish faith is that there is only one god. This god does not have one specific name because he plays many roles – a Healer, a Rock, a still small voice-and is not a friend one would call by their first name. Instead, there are four breath sounds that represent this god, which is more of a presence, not a person. There is not a human form of the god.
Although, the belief is that one day the Messiah will come to Earth. Schindler explained that if the Messiah says “Nice to see you again,” then the Christians who believe He has already walked among humans will be right. If the Messiah says, “Nice to meet you,” then the Jews are correct, and there never was a human form of god.
She ended with a question: when does daylight start? Most say when the sun rises. But the explanation she heard was daylight begins when you see three men walking down the road towards you-one is White, one is Black, one is Hispanic-and you say those are my brothers. Daylight is when you see three women walking down the same road towards you-one is Christian, one is Jewish, one is Muslim-and you say those are my sisters.