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!