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Is it okay for a non-Jew to attend a service at a synagogue?

Hi! I’m a young non-Jewish man and I have recently decided to study different world religions. I’m buying all sorts of religious texts (The Tanakh, the Bhagavad Gita, the Christian Bible, Quran, Tao Te Ching, etc) to analyze and appreciate different cultures and beliefs.

As part of this personal endeavor, I would like to spend some time at different places of worship for different religions. Studying written works and historical context is one thing, but to participate in a gathering of people and personally witness different practices offers a much more modern and well-rounded view into the aforementioned different beliefs and cultures.

Every religion is different, and every group of practitioners their own autonomous entity, so I know there’s not really One True Answer, but I wanted to gauge what a plurality of people might think about that sort of thing from a Jewish perspective. I certainly would not like to come off as some disrespectful tourist, or intruder.

I’m excited for these new experiences, but I’m anxious that I might appear strange or in some way disrespectful. I can’t imagine anything worse than unknowingly committing some kind of faux-pas, or to cause any detriment to a practitioner’s religious experience by my being present.

Is this something I’m better off avoiding, and just taking a purely textual approach to my learning? Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? I’ve done a little bit of googling but would feel a bit more secure in actually speaking with others on the matter. I’d also really appreciate any information on proper etiquette and behavior, if there’s anything I need to keep in mind!

I figure I will call ahead to speak with someone at the synagogue for their own individual thoughts and prescriptions, but I would like to hear some general thoughts on the matter.

Thank you very much for your time!

submitted by /u/CMDR-ArticunoKing
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Source: Reditt

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