Congregation Beth Judea
Member Reviews (1)
- Congregation Beth JudeaMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6First to ReviewJul 04, 2012
I attended the Bat Mitzvah of the daughter of my best friend from the University of Iowa. This trip to stand with my friend for this key life cycle event was a mitzvah (good deed) I was happy to perform.
Beth Judea is housed in a handsome building and seems to be an active and welcoming Conservative congregation. Many friends and family from near and far had come for this occasion, including all of the Bat Mitzvah girl's teenage buddies in the back corner.
Norm's daughter was impressive in chanting her Torah portion (Toldot) and the entire Haftorah. Her drash (sermon) was pretty good too. I also thought that Rabbi Gamer and Cantor Weisberg were especially kind and helpful to the Bat Mitzvah girl and the other folks (including me) who come up for an honor.
In my particular situation, I had the Hagbah honor. This consists of lifting up the Torah and turning it around so that the congregation can see the actual writing on the parchment. The Hagbah occurs after the Torah reading is completed and before the Haftorah takes place. This requires a certain amount of strength in the arms, as Torah scrolls are heavy and in this case disproportionately weighted on the left side. And despite that required strength and balancing act and the fear of actually dropping the Torah, this honor remains one of my favourites.
Afterwards, another person dresses the Torah and I then sat with it on my shoulder as Norm's daughter read the Haftorah. It was great to witness her chanting and the congregation watching from this vantage point.