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August  18

Sounds Like He'll Fit In

Montclair's conservative shul, Shomrei Emunah, which has had numerous rabbis over the past decade, has a new one. Last week, The New Jersey Jewish News profiled Noach Shapiro, who leaves a 1,700-member congregation in Atlanta to lead the 225-member Montclair synagogue.

Shapiro, who wears a silver thumb ring, told the Jewish News that he enjoyed learning from other religious traditions. In Atlanta, for example, he borrowed from a tradition more common in Catholic churches -- a blessing of the animals. Which raises an interesting Talmudic question. Are guinea pigs kosher?

August 18, 2004 in Brand New | Permalink

Comments

First blessed bicycles now The Feast of St. Petsmart- where do you keep finding these New Age Catholics?

The orignal blessing of the animals was for beasts of burden. Farmers and townspeople would being something like an ox or plow horse to the church grounds and have the animal blessed by the local priest.

This has evolved into dragging Fluffy and Fido into the sanctuary. Interestingly the subject's never come up at my parish.

Good luck.

Posted by: pops | Aug 18, 2004 1:02:05 PM

So what's wrong with blessing domestic pets? They bring joy to so many people and are considered "family" by many people. I think there are too few blessings in the world so a few more can't hurt!

Good luck to him.

Remember, dog spelled backwards is....

Posted by: Miss Martta | Aug 18, 2004 1:06:38 PM

Speaking as an Episcopalian, we get any and all animals blessed. The only requirement is that they can be safely brought to the church parking lot.

Guinea pigs kosher? Not my call. They are rodents, not porcines but do not chew a cud or have split hooves. Hey, I'm still trying to figure out the whole kosher/no-kosher fish thing...

Posted by: The Prop | Aug 18, 2004 1:35:25 PM

Scales, scales I tell you!

Posted by: Tom | Aug 18, 2004 2:40:56 PM

I'll let him convert my cat If he can get him to stop missing the litter box. We're members of the tribe, but the cat is Episcopalian.

Posted by: Phil Harmonica | Aug 19, 2004 9:59:34 PM

I'll let him convert my cat If he can get him to stop missing the litter box. We're members of the tribe, but the cat is Episcopalian.

Posted by: Phil Harmonica | Aug 19, 2004 9:59:57 PM

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