Up & Coming Weekly

November 15, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 18 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 18 UCW NOVEMBER 16 - 22, 2022 An interfaith Thanksgiving memory by RABBI DOV GOLDBERG FAITH Once again this year, Beth Is- rael Congregation, where I serve as rabbi, will be participating in a local Interfaith anksgiv- ing Service with several nearby faith communities. In thinking forward to this wonderful tradi- tion, I'd like to share a memory from several decades ago when I was part of a central New Jersey interfaith group and their annual anksgiving service. Like here, it too would rotate among differ- ent houses of worship. One year the local Roman Catholic Church, having just completed construction of a new building, was pleased to host the event and show off their new fa- cility to the broader community. At the time, my family and I lived in a townhome develop- ment and had become friendly with our next door neighbors — a single mother and her daughter who was a year or so older than my eldest son. e kids, about 5 and 6 years old, often played together. Coincidentally, this mom and daughter were also active parishioners of that particu- lar Catholic Church. We all decided to travel together to the Interfaith anksgiving Service, and in prepa- ration we told my son, Amiel, just to behave respectfully and in a similar manner to his friend Angela, since it was her congregation. As we entered the building the kids were excitedly rushing ahead of us into a large reception lobby. After a moment I realized where Angela was headed with Amiel close behind — straight to the holy water. Not know- ing whether it was considered sacri- legious for a non-Catholic to touch the holy water, I recall chasing after them, calling my son's name to try to stop him. In my vain chase, I distinctly recall feeling like the old TV image of actor Lee Majors as the Six Million Dollar Man, depicted moving in slow motion. Unfortunately, unable to catch him in time, he dipped his hand into the holy water just as Angela did; although, I was successfully able to reach him before he emulated her by crossing himself. After the interfaith service I intro- duced myself to one of the younger priests at that large parish, and told him what had happened earlier. He was exceedingly gracious and assured me that no harm or ritual defilement had occurred. Indeed, he gave us all a private tour of the new church and all of us its facilities, describing various parts of the building and its accou- trements, and patiently answering numerous questions. at story always brings a smile to my lips — and allows me to tease my son as to how he was almost "bap- tized" a Catholic. More importantly, it also serves as a small reminder to me of the kind of attitude we should always bring to interfaith occasions; respect for and even interest in each other and our unique differences, kindness and generosity towards one another, and especially tolerance for the ignorance and misunderstand- ings which we all are bound to exhibit unintentionally in unfamiliar settings. anksgiving should be a time not only of gratitude for what we have and who we are, but for the glorious diversity of the world and people around us. Editor's note: e Interfaith anks- giving Service this year will be on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at Beth Israel Congre- gation at 2204 Morganton Road. Participants who will be represented at the Interfaith anksgiving Service in- clude the Fayetteville Friends Meeting (Religious Society of Friends-Quakers), Beth Israel Congregation, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Courtyard Church of Christ, Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Masjid Ibn Omar Sayyid, and the St. James Lu- theran Church. e Interfaith Council of Fayetteville asks that everyone bring a nonperishable donation to share with the Fayetteville Urban Ministries. RABBI DOV GOLDBERG Comments? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200.

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