As she continued in her article she admitted that clergy alone cannot make High Holiday services dynamic; that congregants also hold part of the responsibility. Have we as Jews taken advantage of the adult education opportunities explaining what the prayers mean, or teaching us how to read Hebrew, or saying the prayers? Are we willing to invest time and energy in the month of Elul, the month before Rosh Hashanah or do we expect magic to happen the day we walk into shul twice a year? Abigail Pogrebin reminds us that “Before attending an opera, one reads the libretto. Before visiting another country, one dog-ears the guidebook. Why not prepare for synagogue in the same way?”
Here at CJC we are hoping to do both. For the High Holidays, Cantor Morrison and the choir have learned new music and perfected old favorites. We have inspirational instrumentals to create the space for our private meditations. Second day Rosh Hashanah will be filled with drumming circles, bibliodramas, traditional prayers and Shofar cries. Yom Kippur is an array of traditional liturgy, innovative readings, beautiful instrumentals and enlightening discussions.
But we also want to give you the opportunity to do your part. On September 12, at 7:30pm, we will be introducing the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur music and explaining the meaning behind the prayers. On September 20 at 8pm, at our Selichot service, we will be showing the documentary “Kumare”-a movie about introspection and spiritual growth from the point of view of a fake guru. Following this movie and discussion will be a brief service blowing the shofar and calling us to deepen our search for teshuvah, self-actualization, and spiritual connection. On October 4, at Shabbat Shuvah, we will explore the different complicated aspects of teshuvah, repentance and forgiveness.
Most important our doors are always open, our phones work, and we read our emails, post different exercises on our Facebooks and encourage discussions on our blogs. So what am I asking of you? To show up, engage, question, learn, participate, and help us create our sacred community. For only then can we hope for a L’shanah Tovah/a happy and healthy new year for us all!!!