Monday, June 12, 2017

Cranston Episcopal church welcomes Jewish congregation into its home

From Rhode Island-

It could be considered a tale of three religions involving a Jewish congregation, the state’s only Hindu temple, and an Episcopal parish.

On Sunday, Congregation Or Chadash marked its move from the Hindu temple that once served as its home to its new home at Trinity Episcopal Church in Cranston with the ceremonial carrying of its three Torahs through Pawtuxet Village.

“This whole event is to celebrate a new life,” said Judith Bessoff. The congregation’s name itself — Or Chadash — stands for new light, she said.

The procession started in the parking lot of the former Bank Cafe, in the heart of the village on the Warwick side. Three congregation members carried hefty Torah scrolls, each containing five books central to Jewish teachings, under the cover of a sheer white chuppah. The group made its way across the Narragansett Parkway, over the Pawtuxet River Bridge and onto Broad Street up Cranston.

“When you move a Torah, you’re supposed to hold it close to keep it safe,” Bessoff explained.

Traffic halted to let the procession pass in the blazing heat. Onlookers shot photos as the parade of 30-plus members of Or Chadash and Trinity Episcopal marched through the village, as a light breeze blew under overcast skies. The group passed restaurants, ice cream shops and a liquor store as it made its way.

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