Attending Shabbat morning service by myself today I’m able to get a much clearer picture of what it all means.
I haven’t really learnt much about the order of the service as yet. I know that reading the week’s Torah portion is the central part of the service. There is a sense of relaxed familiarity in the congregation with the prayers that clearly comes with years of experience.
It is clearly also a place where the local Jewish community can be completely free and unguarded, despite the security out front, as one would hope.
Some of the melodies used to chant the prayers and Psalms have an ancient air to them. I can sense that there are generations before me that have chanted these words going back into antiquity. The overall service gives a strong sense of connection with the past. I again feel the sense that I need to reclaim this for my ancestors, who in all likelihood gave up their history and assimilated, in order for their children to be safe.