From REPORTER NEWSPAPERS:
This Christmas, members of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church, Atlanta, will celebrate the birth of their savior at Temple Sinai, a Jewish synagogue that’s literally Holy Innocents’ next door neighbor. In 2004, Holy Innocents’ hosted Temple Sinai’s Friday Shabbat for nearly a year when the synagogue underwent extensive renovations. Holy Innocents’ is in the middle of its own renovations and expects 700 to 800 worshipers for each of the upcoming Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. Its makeshift space can only accommodate around 300, according to Rector Michael Sullivan.
On the surface, it’s a simple act of friendship, a neighborly returning of favors. But one expert suggests the temple and the church’s friendship has a deeper significance than many of the worshipers might guess.
Elena G. Procario-Foley, associate professor of religious studies at Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y., said, “I think it’s wonderfully symbolic of the healing of the Jewish-Christian relationship that the Episcopal Church and the synagogue have offered each other long-term hospitality in a time of need.”
Sullivan said when Holy Innocents’ asked if it could hold services at the synagogue, Temple Sinai didn’t plan to simply hand their Episcopal neighbors the keys and leave town for a couple of days. Temple Sinai members are helping the church plan for one of Christianity’s holiest days. Temple members are moving out furniture Holy Innocents’ doesn’t need to make way for an altar, vestments flowers and an Advent Wreath. They have been the most loving, compassionate, hospitable people. Everything they can do for us, they’re there for us.
Rabbi Ron Segal said Temple Sinai members are excited about hosting their neighbors as they celebrate Jesus’ birthday. The rabbi said Temple members recognize the day is important to Holy Innocents’ members. He said it reminds him of the words of the prophet Isaiah, who said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”
COMMENT: What do you think I am, some sort of schmuck? Of course, OCICBW... is making both congregations...
BRICKS OF THE DAY
Donuts and mince pies for everybody involved!