Leading Services https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/resources-ideas/leading-services en Two Leaders https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/node/35346 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Two Leaders</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/17031" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="ADakin@rabbinicalassembly.org">ADakin@rabbini…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 03/23/2017 - 10:44</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="margin-bottom:10px"><b>Posted on: </b>Thursday March 23, 2017</div><p><!--break--></p> <p><em>By Rabbi Edward Feld</em></p> <p>When my nephew was nine or ten he announced that he wanted to be a rabbi. “What does a rabbi do?” I asked him. “Announce pages,” he said.</p> <p>The interaction between the rabbi and the cantorial leader – whether the latter is a professional or a lay person – can stir interest and excitement. There is the variation and color that two voices provide. And there can be the element of surprise: which voice will I hear next? The latter is even more the case when the Hebrew and English parts are passed back and forth between the two leaders. To do this, leaders might meet in advance, decide on the pace of the service they are to conduct, the overall architecture of the service, and the ways in which their interaction will help make the service moving and effective.</p> <p>There are many ways this can be accomplished. Our colleague, Rabbi Jan Uhrbach, has experimented with someone reading the English translation while she hums a nigun softly. At times there is a pause in the reading and the nigun is sung more loudly signaling to the congregation that they should join in. In this way, the English takes on the quality of Hebrew davening.</p> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-story field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=35346&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="2_Yegk_8AAiKrbPymjGlkU3urzGl4WDIzRqJGPWB7YE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:44:07 +0000 ADakin@rabbinicalassembly.org 35346 at https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/node/35346#comments Davenology: A New Blog on Leading Services https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/node/35391 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Davenology: A New Blog on Leading Services</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/17031" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="ADakin@rabbinicalassembly.org">ADakin@rabbini…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 03/28/2017 - 13:48</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="margin-bottom:10px"><b>Posted on: </b>Tuesday March 28, 2017</div><p><!--break--></p> <p><em>Siddur Lev Shalem</em> inspires many of us to take a fresh look at leading services. Enthusiasm for new thinking in this direction was palpable at the Baltimore convention and participants in the session on <em>Services of the Heart and Mind</em> led by Rabbi Ed Feld and Hazzan Joanna Dulkin asked that the conversation continue. We’re excited to announce that the conversation will continue on a new blog, hosted on the RA website and co-sponsored by JTS’s Block/Kolker Center for Spiritual Arts. Rabbi Ed Feld, Senior Editor of <em>Siddur Lev Shalem</em> will begin the discussion and post regularly, as will <em>Lev Shalem’s</em> Associate Editor, Rabbi Jan Uhrbach Other members of the Siddur Committee will be invited to guest blog. <em>Davenology </em>will be an open public forum and your contributions to the conversation through questions and comments are welcome.</p> <p>If you have a blog post that you would like to contribute to "Davenology," please get in touch with Ed at <a href="mailto:edwardfeld@gmail.com">edwardfeld@gmail.com</a>.</p> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-story field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> </section> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 17:48:18 +0000 ADakin@rabbinicalassembly.org 35391 at https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/node/35391#comments Sefirat Ha-omer https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/node/35426 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Sefirat Ha-omer</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/17031" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="ADakin@rabbinicalassembly.org">ADakin@rabbini…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:18</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="margin-bottom:10px"><b>Posted on: </b>Tuesday April 4, 2017</div><p><!--break--></p> <p><em>By Rabbi Edward Feld</em></p> <p>Biblically, Sefirat Ha-omer seems to have a purely agricultural association. The Omer offering of barley was dedicated at the Temple on the Second Day of Pesach and one then proceeded to count seven weeks until the time of the offering of the first fruits, <em>bikurim –</em> of the wheat harvest<em>. </em>It is a kind of waiting period, a time of anticipation, until farmers could see the fruit of their labor. You plant seeds, water the ground, watch as sprouts appear and nervously wait to learn what this year’s yield will be.</p> <p>But, inevitably, the association of Pesach with the Exodus from Egypt and Shavuot with the revelation on Mt. Sinai meant that this period of waiting held a spiritual meaning as well. It could be seen as a time of preparation, of preparing the ground for receiving the Divine call.</p> <p>The Talmud gives us no direction in how to do this preparation save the count itself. The very counting of the days inculcates a certain anticipation. Each day we become conscious we are being led to something. And so it became customary to study a chapter of Pirkei Avot each of these weeks. In fact, the sixth was added to the original five chapters of Pirkei Avot so that there would be enough material for study on the six shabbatot between Pesach and Shavuot. These fundamental teachings of rabbinic Judaism were seen as the basis for and an understanding of the meaning of Torah. Indeed, one of the possible translations of the phrase Pirkei Avot is fundamental teachings – avot meaning fundamental as in avot m’lakha – that from which everything else is derived.</p> <p>In a different vein, the mystical Jewish tradition which gave substance to this sense of anticipation tying each week to their understanding of the spiritual levels needed to approach the Divine <em>–</em> the spiritual levels that were the very constitution of the Divine. In Siddur Lev Shalem we’ve arranged Sefirat Ha-omer in accord with this weekly system and we’ve tried to pose some modern-day questions of self-examination appropriate to the mystical theme of that week. Tying the two traditions together we’ve culled teachings from Pirkei Avot as ways to enter into the mystical themes of the weeks of Sefirat Ha-omer. </p> <p>You might consider teaching these paragraphs of Pirkei Avot on Friday night during the weeks of Sefirat Ha-omer and using them as springboards to raise the questions we’ve associated with these weeks. Traditionally, the time between Kabbalat Shabbat and arvit was a time for teaching and you can include this material then, or you might highlight them before <em>Aleinu</em> as you turn to Sefirat Ha-omer.</p> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-story field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=35426&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="dpN2MBP1xvwdJxZNqsj305i1XLnr72MsfxuKM5Osm6o"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 14:18:14 +0000 ADakin@rabbinicalassembly.org 35426 at https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/node/35426#comments Tal https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/node/35431 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Tal</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/17031" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="ADakin@rabbinicalassembly.org">ADakin@rabbini…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 04/04/2017 - 10:19</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="margin-bottom:10px"><b>Posted on: </b>Tuesday April 4, 2017</div><p><!--break--></p> <p><em>By Rabbi Edward Feld</em></p> <p>On Pesach we conclude the recitation of prayers for rain in the Amidah and substitute the prayer for dew. This liturgical rhythm reflects, of course, the climate of the Land of Israel where there are essentially two seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. Depending on our geographical location, the climatic seasonal changes described by these prayers may have little resonance for us, but it does serve to remind us that wherever we Jews are, we are always connected in some way to the Land of Israel, our dreamland.</p> <p>The Ashkenazic prayer for Dew (Siddur Lev Shalem p. 375) emphasizes this sense of connection to the Land of Israel and equally our experience of exile away from the Land.  Each stanza’s – rhymed quatrains – plea for dew reviving the land becomes an instance for expanding that prayer to include the need for redemption and God’s blessing of dew is seen as a sign that God has not forgotten us. The final stanzas become lyrical expressions of these ideas and God is addressed as a lover “Dod”/Beloved as we ask that we may become a “flourishing garden.”</p> <p>In Siddur Lev Shalem we’ve also added the Sephardic prayer for dew.  The Sephardic piyyut is much simpler, just four words for each line in an alphabetical acrostic. The only theme here is the blessing of the earth. Some of the allusions are delightful: “with dew-fillled song may the land sing;” “with vital dew may the land be revived.” The land becomes a living entity much like nature becomes a silent singer to God in Psalm 19. </p> <p>It is hard to do a congregational recitation of the Ashkenazic version of Tal, the stanzas are “piyyutic” Hebrew and at best many congregants mumble the chorus, whereas the Sephardic version is easily given to singing with a simple nigun (you can find the text and a transliteration on page 376). Is there a reader out there who can suggest a tune? Perhaps a Passover melody that would work here?</p> <p>Wherever we are, and however we pray, we may be conscious that especially with current conditions of climate change drought is a constant threat and all of us are dependent on water resources for our physical nourishment, and the semi-annual prayers for dew and rain take on renewed meaning for us.</p> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-story field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=35431&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="tbVr8_oyJGcTTF2kN9X5F9NLnB-ydR-gLbt_s-KiP9c"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 14:19:56 +0000 ADakin@rabbinicalassembly.org 35431 at https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/node/35431#comments Using Siddur Lev Shalem on Shavuot https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/node/36691 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Using Siddur Lev Shalem on Shavuot</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/17031" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" content="ADakin@rabbinicalassembly.org">ADakin@rabbini…</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 05/10/2017 - 17:41</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><div style="margin-bottom:10px"><b>Posted on: </b>Wednesday May 10, 2017</div><p><!--break--></p> <p><em>By Rabbi Edward Feld</em></p> <p>One of the special features of Lev Shalem is that it allows for an easy flow of holiday services. Once you turn to the Amidah for Yom Tov, the rest of the service flows from there, no need to turn back and forth. </p> <p>The siddur also acknowledges the holiday in special ways. Unique to this siddur, Yizkor is not generic but offers meditations geared to each holiday. Both of the poems by Lilly Kaufman and Marge Piercy found on page 333 associate memory of loved ones with the themes of the holiday. </p> <p>Similarly, the alternative musaf incorporates traditional piyyutim for the holiday. Many piyyutim expand on the Decalogue and the one that we’ve included here (p. 364) is in simple Hebrew and readable translation. The song Mipi El (p. 365) might be included in any part of the service. One might even think of using it for the introduction to arvit, the night before. </p> <p>This siddur follows the remark in Masechet Sofrim that on the festivals the Levites did not recite the usual psalm of the day but a special one for the holiday. Psalm 119 is a unique biblical acrostic creating nine line stanzas, each based on a letter of the alphabet, each describing the wonders of Torah. For the sake of usability, we’ve taken one line from each stanza. You might think of starting the morning service with this psalm (p 117) or even using it to begin arvit. </p> <p>Hag Sameah!</p> </div> <section class="field field--name-comment-node-story field--type-comment field--label-hidden comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=36691&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="NTTKawVHOnHMIOWOYD6zskfYSEufCZbbd24vDzBP1OU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 10 May 2017 21:41:16 +0000 ADakin@rabbinicalassembly.org 36691 at https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org https://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/node/36691#comments