T h e r a b b i ’ s C o r N e r
WheRe YOu BelOng
Rabbi Joseph P. Klein
C a N T o r ’ s N o T e s
Cantor Darcie N. Sharlein
Teach me, O God, a blessing, a prayer on the mystery of a withered leaf,on ripened fruit so fair,on the freedom to see, to sense,to breathe, to know, to hope, to despair.Teach my lips a blessing,a hymn of praise,as each morning and night You renew Your days,lest my day today be as the one before;lest routine set my ways.
These words written by Leah Goldberg and translated by Pnina Peli
are among those included in
, the new prayerbook we eagerly anticipate bringing into our sanctuary. Welcoming a new
encourages us to take a closer look at worship and the words
we pray. Over the coming months I will explore these topics in my bulletin column.
feels like the perfect place to begin.
pairs each prayer (found on the right-hand
side of a two-page spread) with one or more interpretive readings
(found on the left-hand side).
is a left-hand companion to the
, which is a prayer of praise to God.
that same theme, but whereas the
uses language that is
exalted and sure,
is more introspective, asking for the abilityto recite such words of praise. Certainly in our own lives there are
moments when, as in the
, prayer and praise ow easilyand condently, and others when, as in
, we need a little help
nding and connecting to them.Functionally, the
reects a moment of “in-between”in a service. It serves as a divider; whenever you encounter it in the
, you can be condent that one section of prayer has just cometo a close and another is about to begin. And at this moment in our calendar, we are also in an “in-between” moment, one that
speaks to aptly.
We are, for most of November, in the month of Cheshvan. We haveleft Tishre; Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, days of renewal for ourselves and the world, and Sukkot, during which we celebratedharvest and ripened fruit, are behind us. Chanukkah won’t come untilthe end of next month, Kislev. Meanwhile, the leaves have turned and
We are in between holidays and seasons. Nothing out of the ordinary(like the birthday of the world, or a celebration of freedom in the faceof oppressors) is here to remind us to speak words of blessing and praise. Yet
teaches us that our most ordinary moments and
days are lled with opportunities for blessing and praise, if only wesee and sense those chances. And, if we need a little help nding those
moments or formulating the words, the prayers and poetry found inour
can always help us along the way.
I write this message betweenRosh Hashanah and YomKippur, a few days before our son Adam and Jennifer will be
married. To say that this has
been a busy Holiday season for
our Temple and for my familyis something of an understate-ment. But as hectic and rushedas these days were, there was awonderful calm in the Temple
as everyone “took care of busi
ness”, and everything fell nicely into place. SusanKirschner and her ofce staff worked tirelessly toorganize mailings and make last minute changes tomeet member needs. Charles Criss and our mainte
-nance staff went out of their way to insure that the
building was ready and all was in working order. Iwas not at all surprised at how beautifully Cantor Sharlein led our worship, or how clear and strongwere our Adult and Youth Choirs. We have certainly
entered a new era of Temple Emanu-El musical lead-
ership, and I could not be happier or more pleased.
And we owe much thanks and appreciation to so
many volunteers who did so much (both outside andin the building) these last several weeks. Tina Bonner and her Garden Chavurah, with the special effortof Jim Greenwood, brought beauty to our grounds,
and they continue to work hard on maintaining our
outside presence. Bob and Barb Levitt organized our ushers for the Holidays, and not only assisted our members, but managed to move everyone smoothly.
And to all of you who went out of your way to
congratulate Barb and me on Adam and Jennifer’s
wedding, who were with us at their Marriage Bless-
ing on Friday night, and who welcomed them both sowarmly—please know that Barb and I sincerely ap
- preciate your thoughts and well wishes. It is wonder-
ful for us to be part of such a caring congregation.As I think back on 33 years of leading Holidays ser
vices as a synagogue rabbi, there never was a seasonmore lled with preparations and celebrations, more
worrisome as it approached or more wonderful as
it unfolded. I am most fortunate to be the Rabbi at
Temple Emanu-El, working with these professional
colleagues and serving such a warm congregation. Itwill be a good year for all of us, it has gotten off to a