23 July 2010

Where Am I?

I am standing at one of the "wonders" of the North Shore, Il. This is the Baha'i Temple in Wilmette, IL. Completed in 1953, this is one of only seven temples in the world! Other locations include, New Delhi, India; Santiago, Chile; Apia, Amoa; and my sister's birthplace, Frankfurt, Germany. I had the opportunity to worship at the Baha'i Temple two years ago. My synagogue offers a class called "How Chicago Worships," and gives congregants the chance to observe other religious services in and around Chicago. The class covered Catholic, Methodist, Baptist and other services, but my favorite was at the Baha'i Temple. The reason was not because their service was only 15 minutes long either. Sitting inside the building was very serene for prayers. There is no official leader, such as a rabbi, priest, minister, etc. Instead, the brief services are lead by members of the congregation. The front of the temple is filled with fountains and an exquisite garden. The building is circular and has nine sides, as do all of the temples around the world. The number nine is the largest single digit and represents "completeness" in the Baha'i faith. The religion was founded in 1844 in Iran and worshipers strongly believe in "Baha'u'llah's" teachings of world unification. These are the symbols of the Baha'i Faith: When I am staying in my Illinois home, I love driving past the temple. It truly is a beautiful and calming place.