Reflections on Ritual and Prayer
From the desk of our Ritual Director Gordon Goldman
- SOUNDING THE SHOFAR DURING ELUL
SHOFAR BLOWING DURING ELUL
During the month of Elul, the last Hebrew month before Rosh Hashanah, the Shofar is sounded at every morning service except Shabbat. In our congregation we also blow shofar at night, a custom we developed for congregants who, because of work schedules etc., could not make the morning minyan. The sounding of ...
- DEUTERONOMY AS A METAPHOR FOR GROWTH
DEUTERONOMY AS METAPHOR
The book of D’varim (Deuteronomy) can be looked upon as a metaphor for personal growth. Let’s start with a look at Moses at the burning bush in Exodus, chapter 3. Moses has, rather impetuously, killed an Egyptian taskmaster and had to flee to Midian. Now he is tending his father-in-law’s sheep in ...
- OBSERVING THE FAST DAYS
THE FAST DAYS
I was thinking about the rituals commemorating the humiliating defeat of Israel/Judea culminating with the destruction of the first and second Temples first by the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE and later the Roman Empire in 70 CE. Our rituals concerning national calamity involve scriptural readings, changes to the prayer service ...
- REFLECTIONS ON COUNTING THE OMER
REFLECTIONS ON COUNTING THE OMER
We are told in Leviticus 23:15-16 starting with the eve of the second day of Pesach, (when in temple times we are to bring an omer of barley as an offering) we are to count seven weeks, 49 days. The day after the end of seven weeks will make fifty days. ...
- CAN THERE BE JEWISHNESS AND SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT” GOD-CENTRICITY”
CAN THERE BE JEWISHNESS AND SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT” GOD-CENTRICITY”
(for DIH with love and respect)
The question arises “can I be spiritual and have a sense of connected Jewishness without stressing the primacy of God and a relationship with God? I have known proclaimed atheists who are still very spiritual people. I know secular, non-observant people who ...
- OUR OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
YOUR OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
To me, a big part of religious involvement is developing and understanding a relationship with God. I understand that this is not necessarily true of everyone. I understand that there are people who feel a connection to, and who observe religious tradition without a deep sense of connectedness to God or ...
- WHO BENEFITS FROM MOURNERS’ KADDISH
WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF MOURNERS’ KADDISH?
There are several different versions of the statement we know as Kaddish. There is the full Kaddish, an abbreviated one we call Hatzi Kaddish, a longer Kaddish d’Rabbanan we say after Torah study and a couple of others. The best-known version, to most of the Jewish community, is ...