As I referenced last week, our parish beer club has been working on expanding our interfaith horizons by brewing with the beer club from Congregation Rodeph Shalom.
Our brewing efforts resulted in a beer we dubbed, “Ecclesiastes 3:1- To Everything There’s a Saison.” We debut it earlier this week as part of Rodeph Shalom’s Sukkot celebrations.
Sukkot is the Jewish harvest festival and closes out the High Holy Days. The holiday, also known as the Festival of Booths, has its origins in Israel’s agricultural past. At harvest time people would have to leave their cities and live in the fields in order to bring in the crop. This experience is recreated through creating a sukkah (a tent/booth) outside the synagogue.
Anyway, about ten people from our parish/beer club, headed over to RS’s parking lot where we joined about 30 folks from the congregation for a festive dinner and of course, our beer.
Before we sat down to eat Rabbi Eli Freedman and president of the synagogue invited me to join them at the front of the sukkah as they explained the history and importance of the holiday and lead us all in prayers of thanksgiving and a blessing over the beer.
By nature I love learning about other people and their traditions. As a Christian I find it doubly meaningful to learn about the faith and practices that inspired Jesus.
It was a great pleasure to share these traditions as well as some excellent food and fellowship. It all made for a night that I will not soon forget. And to think that it all began over a brew kettle.
Our sincere thanks to Rabbi Eli, Matthew, Lee and the rest of Congregation Rodeph Shalom for their hospitality!