Two people asked me if I was thinking about converting. I guess that would normally be why a non-Jew comes to, for example, Rosh HaShannah second night services; it's just so not where I'm at that the question throws me every time.
After service, I got invited to dinner.
It was about 8:30, and I'd been up since 5:30am, so I was hesitant, but they live up near me, so I figured it would be easy enough to bail (though as I said, then I got in conversation with some other folks and was kinda sad to leave that).
I was really glad I went to dinner.
I learned that "Jews really like blessing" but that you don't want to waste a blessing -- that would be like taking the Lord's name in vain. Hence the carefulness of the timing of blessings (e.g. the bread blessing is the last pre-meal food blessing, because it covers all the food, bread being the basis of sustenance).
At one point, there was conversation about Zalman, and Josh paused to sort of explain to me, and I said "Like, The Reb Zalman Legacy Project Blog, right?" and everyone was impressed. I said I couldn't necessarily tell you anything about what he believes/espouses, that I got to the blog from Velveteen Rabbi (who apparently is Talya's ex-girlfriend's somebody's somebody's sister-in-law).
Talya went to RCC (Reconstructionist Rabbinical College) in Philly and apparently the prof of her Christianity class was a UMC person and told them about the Beth Stroud trial as it was going on (in Philly). I didn't know that the congregation basically unanimously chose to keep her on as a lay minister after she was defrocked. (Yeah, after Amy DeLong it would probably behoove me to be more well-versed in this history -- since I keep encountering non-UMC people who have some exposure to it ... like the UU(?) woman in faith-sharing who took a class with HEUMC-Scott.)
Talya asked why I attend Jewish services. As with "why do you do so much church?" I don't have a good answer. One thing I did say, and I commented on the irony, is that Jewish services are so ritualized, and because it's not my tradition (and I don't even understand much of what's going on), I can experience it as, "Here is this stuff I don't really understand but which has this weight of tradition behind it and which is really meaningful to these people" -- as opposed to in my own tradition I'm like, "Why are we doing this? This doesn't resonate for me at all!" and I'm arguing with what it all means and why we're doing it.
I also commented that when I attend services at the Hav I'm reminded that it's perhaps not such a good choice for me because it doesn't feel very ritualistic. They assert that the Hav is low style but high liturgy, doing all the prayers and etc.
Josh cantored at Harvard Hillel on RH 1 -- in Memorial Church. He said they had covered the cross with a sign that said (in Hebrew) "Surely God is in this place." ♥
Josh said I was welcome to stop by any time. During dinner, I had wished Shoshana could have been there (for all the Jew conversation), and it occurs to me that we could set up a dinner date (Josh and I did exchange business cards).
I lack people in my meatspace life to discuss religion/theology ad infinitum with, and Jewish community is great for that :D