Rabbi Lyon’s Blog – 09_23_2016

Rabbi Lyon’s Blog – 09_23_2016

From the desk of Rabbi David Lyon

Just another week. The Jewish New Year begins on Erev Rosh Hashanah, Sunday evening, October 2, 2016; the 1st day of Tishrei 5777.  What should you anticipate at Beth Israel? A new High Holyday prayerbook. You’ll have the privilege to hold onto beautiful prayers written in gender-neutral language, poems and reflections for personal meditation, and exquisite liturgy for the rabbis and cantor to share with you. I believe that you’ll enjoy the flow of the service, the personal ways to find meaning, and the sounds of the music that Cantor Mutlu uniquely interprets on High Holydays. Here’s a sample of personal meditation you’ll find in Mishkan HaNefesh (Tabernacle of the Soul), on page 41:

Personal Prayer: Know Before Whom You Stand, by Rabbi Norman Hirsch (b.1930)

You can’t rush a prayer to God,
If it comes from the heart
It will rush out on its own
Speed through receding galaxies or 
Silences in the soul,
And God will hear.

Honesty with all, but
Speaking to God is different.
Mine the soul
For your coal and gems and regular earth,
No pretense,
And God will hear.

Don’t force the prayer
Or string words together,
Pause, perhaps
Better not to pray,
Silence will be a message of awe,
And God will hear.

Now step off into the very deep.
Beyond the way of prayer:
We glimpse unknown magnitudes of God,
No more, or we would be stunned into silence.
Except that Love makes itself small, 
We could not pray at all.

Before Rosh Hashanah, we come together at Beth Israel on Saturday night, September 24th, when our rabbis and cantor lead us in Selichot (Forgiveness) learning and worship. The program begins at 8:00 p.m., with Rabbi Herman and David Scott, who will present on Mishkan HaNefesh; followed by a dessert reception and Selichot worship at 10:00 p.m., with Rabbi Lyon, Cantor Mutlu and Rabbi Herman. You’re welcome to all or part of the evening.

                L’Shanah Tovah, to the beginning of 5777, filled with hope and promise for sweetness, good health and peace.