Prostration II

Crossposted to RJ.org.

I’ve posted about prostration before.

Some of the more chazanishly demanding parts of the Yom Kipur liturgy at Chavurat Lamdeinu were tackled this year by one of our members, a guy names Steve. Steve grew up in the Conservative movement and later studied super-amazing-loud-operatic chazanut in a yeshiva. He later served for many years as a chazan at a conservative synagogue here in New Jersey. Steve is a lawyer, but late in life, he decided he wanted to study chazanut. And boy, did he ever.

Or course, I know that during a particular Aleinu on Yom Kipur, we’re supposed to prostrate ourselves. But after years of a Reform synagogue on Austin, HUC in Jersusalem, and, last year, a Reform synagogue in New Brunswick, I’ve never seen it done.

When Steve prostrated himself before the Ark yesterday, I was totally struck by it. The most striking thing to me about Yom Kipur this year was Steve’s prostration.

I know we Reform Jew lost this practice while pretending to be protestants in the nineteenth century, but are we really after that look anymore? Let’s get back to prostration!

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4 Responses to Prostration II

  1. Rich October 12, 2008 at 9:25 pm #

    “I know we Reform Jew lost this practice while pretending to be protestants in the nineteenth century, but are we really after that look anymore?”

    Now, there’s a question that should become the litmus test for any proposal that comes before a Religious Practices committee. In some cases “acquired” can replace “lost” as in the matter of vestments for clergy or organ music, or whether Hamotzi should be recited on the Bima.

  2. davidamwilensky October 13, 2008 at 8:04 am #

    Bingo, Rich.

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