Archive | September, 2008

Funny Tashlich?

We did Tashlich after services today. Tashlich, of course, is the Medieval Jewish ritual of tearing off piece of bread and reciting a short passage from the prophet Michah. The bread symbolizes our sins that we hope to cast away in the coming days of repentance. In addition to the standard Tashlich liturgy, we shared in the following light-hearted list of Tashlich suggestions as well:

“Taking a few crumbs to Tashlich from whatever old bread is in the house lacks subtlety, nuance and religious sensitivity. Instead, this coming Rosh Hashanah consider these options

For ordinary sins, use White Bread
For exotic sins, French Bread
For particularly dark sins, Pumpernickel Continue Reading →

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Rabbi Bachman knocks it out of the park

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The man is a genius. Check out a transcript of Rabbi Andy Bachman’s erev Rosh Hashanah sermon here. Here’ an excerpt:

Surrendering total control is never easy–especially as members of a synagogue community founded on principles that value the intellect over the experiential; the rational over the mysterious; Reform over Tradition. Of course, as we continually need to remind ourselves, the historical circumstances that founded this community in 1861 are quite different from those that demand action in the world today. Our membership, ever growing, comes from all walks of Jewish life–Reform, Conservative and Orthodox and non-Jewish life as well. I find that fewer people have an intellectual ax to grind with Tradition and Reform is not much more than: 1. a commitment to egalitarian values for men, women, gays and lesbians; 2. a rationalist and historical view of the authorship of Torah; and, 3. devotion to the principles of Tikkun Olam, Social Justice and Social Action. But “Reforming Judaism?” I’ve yet to encounter in my years here a single Jew who truly wants to Reform Judaism. After all, in humility, we could easily spend the next 50 years just figuring out what Judaism IS!

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Shofars on YouTube – Part III

This is just ridiculous/hilarious.

YouTube – Shofar Garage Opener.

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Shofars on YouTube – Part II

This guy can actually play Hatikvah on the shofar! It’s incredible!

YouTube – Hatikvah on the Shofar.

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Shofars on YouTube – Part I

This is perfect axample of why Chabad has so many markets cornered–they just do cooler things than the rest of us. If my kindergarted Sunday School class had made actual shofars, instead of rolling a paper plate into a cone and sprinkling glitter on it, I would’ve been so much more jazzed for Sunday School. I wanna make my own shofar!

YouTube – Shofar Class.

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Rosh Hashanah Zmiros

Hat-tip to BZ’s blog Mah Rabu for this little delight. It’s Phish. The relevance begins at about 4:05. Shanah Tovah, blogosphites.

YouTube – Phish 1999-10-03TMWSIY Avenu Malkenu.

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Amidah antics -OR- The way Reform Jews should think about prayer

The following is a follow-up of sorts to William Berkson’s excellent post about commandedness in the Reform movment.

A Shabat morning with Chavurat Lamdeinu, progressive non-denominational minyan extraordinaire, is always full of oddities, whether it’s just the assortment of people or the comments made throughout the service. This week was no different, except that this week’s major oddity was a fantastic education in obscure litrugical rules and a perfect example of what bothers me about the way we Reform Jews threat our prayers. Continue Reading →

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More on the prayer for “Unexpected Intimacy”

I wrote a couple of days ago about a prayer for anonymous gay sex. Let’s back track a bit and I’ll agree to hold my judgment until I have a copy of this oddity of a sidur in my own hands. Read DovBear‘s excellent post about it for reasons to withhold judgment on the forthcoming sidur from Kehilat Sha’ar Zahav.

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As a big fan of movement during prayer, I was very interested to read this article at Jews By Choice about prostration in Jewish prayer. One of the comments on that post pointed us to this video of Jewish prayer that may look very foreign to us. It’s very cool.

YouTube – Daily Jewish Prayer & Submission – כריעות בשמונה עשרה.

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A ceremony for anonymous gay sex?

Okay. Hold on. So the other day, I had my Jewish theology course with Professor Alan Nadler. The man tries equally hard to offend just about every one of his students and we all love it. In an attempt to do so during this paritcular class, he mentioned an upcoming Reform sidur he’s read about somewhere with a ceremony in it to be performed after anonymous gay sex! Rather than being offended, I ended up being disgusted right along with him.

Continue Reading →

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