Today was a first for me, visit to the oldest Synagogue in England which is at Jews Court, The Strait, Lincoln.
The service for Sabbath morning was sung in Hebrew by a Rabbi with a wonderful voice. I was struck by the way it followed a pattern that everyone knew. It was like the way my oldies in Cornwall all knew their prayer book services verbatim. It is there deep in the heartbeat of these warm and welcoming people. The other thing that struck me was how much was sung in a minor key. This reflects the lamentation of so much of the Hebrew Bible.
This is a congregation of Liberal Judaism. The Rabbi spoke about the reading from the Torah from Deuteronomy. He started from the orthodox view that it is the word of God, later it was accepted that it is the word of Moses, later still that it was written in the seventh century BCC in Babylon. Now it is acknowledged that it provides a framework for relating to God in our own time.
What struck me most was that everything was done not because someone in authority decreed it, but because it honours tradition going back into the depths of time.