Monday, April 9, 2007

Dancing, Eating, and Listening to Very Long Stories in The New York Hare Krishna Temple: Part 1

The Companionable Atheist and I were wandering through Brooklyn on a cold evening. The sun was setting. We'd walked through Park Slope, across several windswept blocks that didn't seem to be part of any neighborhood at all, as the multimillion dollar brownstones gave way to empty storefronts and garages, and back to brownstones, and back to garages, and we had asked directions at a Holiday Inn Express and also at a Walgreen's.

Finally we found Schermerhorn Street and our destination: The New York Hare Krishna Temple, a handsome, well-maintained building in the middle of a not-so-posh block. I got my usual thirty seconds of "Why am I doing this?" feelings as we walked up to the door. Going into a new house of worship is like walking up to a stranger's home - you think they'll be home, you think you know the right way to behave, but you're never exactly sure.

I was particularly unsure about what to do here because I hadn't done my usual homework, not a bit of it. I know what to do in a church (sit in a pew, don't take Communion), in an conservative Orthodox synagogue (stand up when everyone else does; look both ways before shaking hands), but in a Hare Krishna temple? I knew nothing.

1 comment:

Jonathan Adiri said...

At the synagogue you also have to mumble stuff in Hebrew and say Amen when everybody else does.
I am curious to know (on a serious note) - to what extent are the eastern traditions and values resemble the jewish ones. Like the case of the Khamorabi laws...
well... I guess I'll have to wait and see as things unfold