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Temple prays for pets

Posted: November 7, 2008 7:37 p.m.
Updated: November 8, 2008 4:30 a.m.
Chipper makes his way outside Temple Beth Ami after the special animal service which celebrated the reading of Noah's Ark Saturday morning. Chipper makes his way outside Temple Beth Ami after the special animal service which celebrated the reading of Noah's Ark Saturday morning.
Chipper makes his way outside Temple Beth Ami after the special animal service which celebrated the reading of Noah's Ark Saturday morning.
Members of the Gelberg family, Anneliese, 11, Aaron, 7, and mom Carroll brought Libby to their prayer service at Temple Beth Ami Saturday morning. The service welcomed all types of pets in order to be blessed and celebrated. Members of the Gelberg family, Anneliese, 11, Aaron, 7, and mom Carroll brought Libby to their prayer service at Temple Beth Ami Saturday morning. The service welcomed all types of pets in order to be blessed and celebrated.
Members of the Gelberg family, Anneliese, 11, Aaron, 7, and mom Carroll brought Libby to their prayer service at Temple Beth Ami Saturday morning. The service welcomed all types of pets in order to be blessed and celebrated.
Christine Brown and eight-year-old daughter Erin Brown read a blessing together for their pet dog Pixie. Christine Brown and eight-year-old daughter Erin Brown read a blessing together for their pet dog Pixie.
Christine Brown and eight-year-old daughter Erin Brown read a blessing together for their pet dog Pixie.
Willow, a cocker-poodle mix, sits with owner Jill Zemming during a special service with pets to celebrate the reading of Noah’s Ark at Temple Beth Ami Saturday morning. The animals were also blessed during the weekend ceremony. Willow, a cocker-poodle mix, sits with owner Jill Zemming during a special service with pets to celebrate the reading of Noah’s Ark at Temple Beth Ami Saturday morning. The animals were also blessed during the weekend ceremony.
Willow, a cocker-poodle mix, sits with owner Jill Zemming during a special service with pets to celebrate the reading of Noah’s Ark at Temple Beth Ami Saturday morning. The animals were also blessed during the weekend ceremony.
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As some members leaned over and whispered a quiet prayer over their pets, the worshipers in the synagogue of Temple Beth Ami in Newhall remained surprisingly calm.

It was raining outside and wet paws had to be moved inside, but the Temple’s animal prayer service went on as planned last Saturday.

“It shows you the power of the energy in here,” said Rabbi Mark Blazer referring to the animals’ serenity. “It’s amazing.  They feel the spirituality and  energy in this room.” 

The hour-long service began with worship songs then Blazer opened with, “Before human beings were created, animals were created.”

Blazer led the attendees in a reading of Noah’s Ark Scripture and prayer blessings over many pets ranging from a brown puggle named Pearl to a turtle named Buddy. While the annual service usually brings an ark’s array of feathered and furry friends from birds and cats to rodents, this service was mostly comprised of pups.  

“Animals are a daily reminder of the power we have over nature,” said Blazer as he addressed at least 20 pet owners with their arms wrapped around their little companions. “That (power) is taken for granted sometimes but we have a very safe responsibility over our animals.”

Pet-owners also said prayers over their deceased pets. Blazer said the service gives owners who lost pets a place to unashamedly pray for them.

“We come to honor all our previous pets that have passed and to tie in our spirituality with our pets,” said temple member Mitch Pearlman of Valencia. Pearlman and his two children, Chad and Faith, sat next to their Pearl of a puggle, a pug-beagle mix.

“As we take care of our animals, it’s something we should do in our homes but even in the world around us,” Blazer said. “This service was created for people to recognize the spiritual connections to their pets and animals in general.”

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