Now that the Jewish holidays are upon us, I felt it imperative to attempt to observe the holiday season, especially because I am in Berlin. So I followed my fellow tribesmen, well suited wearing crocks (no leather allowed on the holidays – I know, crocks are an odd choice, but thankfully no giblets were present) with yamakas on head, I journeyed with a fellow classmate to the local temple. The streets were blocked with security – unfortunately due to not only Germany’s history but the highly Muslim area where I reside – we wove our way to the Orthodox temple.
The temple itself has been active for approximately one century. However, upon Nov. 9, 1938, more commonly referred to as Kristallnacht, the temple was destroyed and not used again until the fall of the wall, Nov. 9, 1989. Unfortunately, as my classmate and I had neither a ticket as we were not official members of the congregation, as well as lacked passports – still with the government, as I await my official Residency permit, we could not enter the temple. Although our cries “BUT WE’RE JEWISH!” were ignored – still can’t quite determine whether I’m happy or sad about the inability to identify our religion by mere sight – I could both understand and commend the heightened security.
My passport may not be around for the high holy days, but a sermon is an essential part of my Berlin experience. It should prove to be interesting.