12th Grade World Religions Trip
By Rana Orsan '20
The senior class went on a trip this month to visit the Hindu temple, Muslim mosque, and Jewish synagogue. Personally, my experience with two out of three of these religions is fairly limited, but I do know quite a bit about Islam. My father was an immigrant from Jordan, a smallish country in the Middle East, so I grew up with and practiced Islam for most of my youth. Nowadays, I’m am no longer practicing, so I wouldn’t consider myself a Muslim except by association with my dad. I haven’t been to a mosque in at least eight years, so it was very interesting to see how it changed and the things that stayed the same. There was a lot I remembered about the praying, such as the act of bowing three times to show submission to Allah, I also remember going every week to the Islamic version of Sunday school to learn about the Qur'an and its teachings, as well as the Arabic language. It was a unique experience to come back and see things that I didn’t even realize I forgot.
Other than the Islamic mosque, the Hindu temple was beautiful. It was very relaxing since it was so quiet and we were able to go around and read about each of the deity’s and their significance to the religion. I thought that the relaxed way of worship was a great way to clear the mind and find some time to reflect. The synagogue was also very interesting. The Torah scrolls were beautiful, with the white cover and the writings in Hebrew. The Rabbi who was showing us around also was very kind and answered all the questions we might’ve had about how Judaism works. Going to these three very different places of worship was a very insightful experience, I think not only for me, but for the rest of the class as well. Learning about different cultures and religions is important and I’m really glad that the senior class was able to go on this trip.