Prayer... We all do it in different ways. Our liturgy guides our hearts through words, and over time, the music behind our prayer has grown and evolved from its formal self. You've heard it here... We've read the Megillah to Wizard of Oz, had Shabbat to The Beatles, and rocked out at Shir Shabbat. The past, however, has not been forgotten. Each week, I chant chatimot (seals of the prayers) to the melodies of the nusach (the closest thing we have to the original tunes of our people). Today, many of us synagogue songsters [chazzanim (visionaries/cantors), song leaders, klay kodesh (holy vessels for prayer)] are attempting to draw our people into the synagogue through musical prayer. We are bridging secular and sacred, old and new, with and without instrumentation.
This past week, we welcomed Saul Kaye to our bimah. He uplifted us in a soulful, bluesy Shabbat, engaged our participation, and beautifully narrated from prayer to prayer. For many of us, blues themed prayer in the synagogue is exactly what we needed. Some of us seek meditation, deep and profound study, the "traditional" melodies, or even a high energy Tot Shabbat. We have so many options of ways to pray at Temple Menorah. There is surely something for everybody.
While Rabbi is away in San Diego at the URJ biennial, bringing in Shabbat with over six thousand Jews, we will be bringing in a quiet Shabbat on the Temple Menorah. Join me in the sanctuary this Friday night at 6:30PM as we have a tranquil and meditative Shalev Balev Shabbat. Immerse in prayer through some of your favorite soft tunes, introspective prayer, dim lighting, virtual t'fillah and closeness to the Torah.