Friday, September 17, 2010

Making nothing into something

Yesterday, I read the Jewish Advocate (Boston's local Jewish paper), as I do every Thursday, and I was puzzled to read an article about some middle school students from Wellesley who visited the Islamic Center in Roxbury who apparently bowed during the prayer services. They bowed during prayer services. This is news?

You can imagine my surprise this morning when I opened up the Boston Globe and there, on the front page of the Metro section, was a similar article.

Talk about making nothing into something.

The article in the Jewish Advocate was somewhat different from the article in the Globe, however. In the Advocate, it stated that some of the boys bowed down to the floor during the prayer services, and in the Globe, it stated only that they bowed their heads. In any case, there was bowing going on.

Who cares?

Jews bow at the waist during different parts of the prayer services. Catholics kneel. Muslims bow to the floor. It would be an interesting exercise to try out all three types of bowing, and see how what feelings each brings up.

But my point is, bowing during another religion's prayer service doesn't mean that you are in some way becoming a part of that religion. Are we so fearful of people leaving Judaism that we think one visit to a mosque and one bow to the ground will cause our children to leave the fold?


1 comment:

thelmaz said...

Fascinating. I never kneel during visits to other religious services, but I assume these kids were being polite, nothing more.

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