North American Zoroastrian Religious Tele – Class -
Sunday June 10th 2012 11 AM EDST
Ervad Soli P. Dastur
A Zoroastrian Religion Class was held by Telephone on June 10th 2012 by Jo Ann Dastur & Ervad Soli P. Dastur. Usually, this class is conducted from their home, Hira Villa, in Sarasota, Florida. However, this time, at the kind invitation of our own Dinyar Mehta, Perzid Ichhaporia and other Orlando Z friends, the class was conducted from a conference room of Dinyar’s Wingate Hotel in Orlando. There were about 25 Orlando friends were in the conference room. Also, about 38+ people joined in by calling a Tele-meeting phone number. The people were from both Canada and USA, from NY to Dallas, Montreal to Miami. The class material was a PowerPoint Presentation sent ahead of time to all participants in PDF format.
At the popular request of the previous Tele Class attendees, this Tele Class covered the Answers by Ervad Dastur of the Questions submitted by the Tele Class attendees. There were in all 14 different people who submitted multiple questions. Ervad Dastur answered them all and sent out the final PowerPoint Presentation in PDF format to all attendees ahead of time which included 107 slides in total.
From the very beginning of the last class on April 29th, it was decided that it will be too formidable and hurried up to cover all these 107 slides and so we only covered in this last Tele Class slides 1 – 56 answering first 5 people’s questions. This tele class yesterday covered the rest of the questions in a 64 slides total PowerPoint Presentation in PDF format.
Jo Ann and Soli started the class by greeting all participants. He especially thanked Dinyar Mehta, Perzid Ichhaporia and all the Orlando attendees who participated in this class.
The material covered in this class consisted of the answers for the questions submitted by the participants. A wide variety of subjects were covered by these questions: a) what is the meaning of the word Liturgy? b) How about preparing a booklet of Parsi Navjote and Irani Sedreh Pushi covered in the last class? c) Creating a booklet of all these Tele-Classes materials; d) proper etiquette for the participants during the tele class regards their cell phones, talking, etc. e) a reference to the Khan Academy and may be its application to our Zoroastrian Religious Classes; f) What are the NAMC guidelines for the future Atashkadehs in North America and how can we in NA have consecrated Atashkadehs to be able to perform our inner liturgies like Yasna, Vendidad, Baj, Visperad, etc. as well as training and initiating our young Zoroastrians for Navar and Martab? (Soli explained the NAMC Guidelines paper on Atashkadeh in NA which was just distributed worldwide last week covering these points); g) the 30 days of our calendar, their names and meanings and Dallas Z children book on the same with beautiful photos for each day; h) a number of questions from Parashtu Dubash from ZAGBA Boston about why Iranians pray with their hands joining upwards and Parsis by joining them; why Iranians have their children don the Sudreh before they come to the stage for their Sedreh Pushi and Parsis have them donned on the stage; can a person follow two religions because of the parents belonging to two religions; etc.
Unknown to Soli engrossed in the tele class, it took almost 90 minutes for the whole class but no one left the tele conference which was very much appreciated.
Finally, as it is becoming our custom, the permanent question: “We do not understand what we are praying in our daily prayers” was answered by suggesting some alternatives. Before we all recited the prayer, Soli presented the first part of the Atash Nyayesh performed by our own Mobed Ervad Kobad Jamshed in his sonorous voice together with the pealing of the bell! The final prayer in English, from Dr. Dhalla’s book: Homage Unto Ahura Mazda: “Faith works wonders”, was recited by all together ending with our signature Zoroastrian greeting of: “Hamaa Zor, Hamaa Asho Bade” (May we be united in righteousness) performed by all attending the Class, a cyber Hamaa Zor all over North America!
The PowerPoint Presentation slides and all documents covering the answers to the questions are attached to this message. In most homes, families gathered in front of their computers following slides of this presentation as I spoke about them from my home.
We also request all of you to suggest what topics we should cover in the next Tele Classes.
Many of the interested Humdins want us to place this one hour class as an Internet video. Here they are :
May the Flame of Fellowship, Love, Charity and Tolerance burn ever eternal in our hearts so we can do HIS work with humility, diligence and eternal enthusiasm!
Atha Jamyaat, Yatha Aafrinaamahi! (May it be so as we wish?)
Love and Tandoorasti, Soli