Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

Wow, 8 days with no posts – I know, pretty unacceptable in the blogging world, but until they manufacture a 25th hour to the day, there has just been no way!

I just wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year, and convey my intention for you to bring everything you dream of into your lives this year.  For the first time ever, in my life, I am really living my dream, and so it is more important for me than ever to continue to take inventory of what I have accomplished, succeeded and failed at, and what I want to do better.

I also wanted to stress that we cannot ask for anything at all, if we have not appreciated yet what we have in the present.  I know it may sound hokey, but, it seems that every time I write about my appreciations for what has come into my life, more just comes in!  And it seems that when I focus on what I don’t have that I want, more of what I don’t want comes in its place.  So, once again – keep thanking whoever you want to thank for what you have.  Don’t forget to be thankful for crazy things like tires on your car, and elevators, and hair color in a bottle.  It’s the little things that make our lives interesting!

This year, I am asking God to help me find more ways to be a better, deeper, more productive person.  I can’t expect anything more to come to me, without finding more ways to give.  I’ve written about it before, but I really would like to become more involved in a charity that is meaningful in my life, and that I can make a difference in.  I’m not sure what that is, but I intend to find it this year.

I’m incredibly excited (but a little nervous) about my Family Service at Temple Beth David in WPB.  I’m so lucky to have found this amazing little Conservative synagogue up there with the coolest Rock and Roll Rabbi (Rabbi Michael Singer), the sweetest little Cantor (Cantor Jennifer Kanarek), and the most amazing Education Director (Rose Rosenkrantz) I have ever met.  They are warm, loving, supportive, empowering, and creative.  They have welcomed me into their world, and I cannot wait to be a part of it.  They have been so generous to me already, by offering my family space in the services, and inviting me to dinner on Erev RH.  I can’t wait to celebrate with them, and bring a warm, loving, exciting presence to their Family Service.

So, over the next few days, I will be vocalizing, practicing my guitar and warming up my fingers, meditating and getting focused for the upcoming services.  Of course, I still have a new Sunday School program starting up this weekend, and weddings to write and plan, but, there just won’t be much spare time, so I may not be back until after RH.

In the meantime, L’shanah Tova.  May God inscribe you in the Book of Life.  May you achieve everything you dream of, and may you be blessed with a good year, an abundant year, a year of peace, and a year of blessings.



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Tonight, Leon & Jackie and I joined Karen Modell from The Friends Meeting House in Lake Worth for dinner, and a tour of the house.  It is a quaint house right off 10th Ave N & I-95, and it is the perfect space for our High Holiday service.

We are going to hold a full service, including Erev Rosh Hashanah, Rosh Hashanah morning, Erev Yom Kippur, Yom Kippur, N’Eilah, and a light break fast – all for the amazingly reasonable price of $72 per person, not including donations.  Leon is a wonderful Rabbi who cuts through all of the ego stuff, and gets right down to the meaning of worship.  Have you grown tired of condescending Rabbis who yell at you on the pulpit?  Are you over the fashion show that makes you feel like you’re wearing last years sale items?  Have you felt like your worship experience is parallel to a used car sales pitch?

We won’t have any of that.  Not if we can help it.  We don’t care what you wear.  We don’t care what you have (or don’t have)  We really mean that.  The only thing that is limited is space, so it’s first come first serve.  We do have to pay for the house, for advertising, and for the food items for break-fast, so of course, donations are gratefully accepted, but not required.  If you want a loving, warm, and spiritual place to pray, this is it!  We don’t even care if you speak Hebrew.  Come and sit for an hour – and just contemplate the year you left behind, and the year you wish to have for yourself.  That’s all that is required.

I’m so excited to do something with meaning.  Yes, I loved the experience of standing in front of my congregation in years past, especially my solos and my 20 seconds of fame, but this is so much more worthwhile.  Even if there are 20 people in our congregation, if those 20 people are praying their kishkes out, then it was worth the trip!

So, I’m putting it out there, and I have full intention of filling the room with passionate, spiritual folks like me, who just want to get a little closer to Hashem this month.  Won’t you join me?

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Recently, a Party Planner I worked with last year, Lynn Goldberg, called me to ask if I would officiate at a Bar Mitzvah for one of her clients. They had recently moved down here from New Jersey, didn’t belong to a synagogue, but were planning a private Bar Mitzvah for their son, Jed. I met with the family, and agreed to work with them, especially since they already had someone to tutor Jed, and only needed me for the service. I went up to their home the following week, to meet the tutor, and plan the ceremony, and met Harriette Reznik, Jed’s tutor. Well we planned the ceremony, and got along famously, and agreed to keep in close touch, to discuss Jed’s progress.

The following week, I was working on a project with another client, who mentioned they were thinking of hiring someone for a job they needed filled, and asked if I would meet her, to see if she was someone they could work with. I took a look at the person’s name on the resume, and it said Harriette Reznik. Hmm, could it be? I walked around the corner, and there was Harriette sitting in the office, and neither of us could believe what a small world it was. So, we’ve been working together on 2 completely unrelated projects, and she is as nice as can be, and has quickly become a great friend.

Oh – so back to the Bar Mitzvah –

So, Karen (Jed’s Mom) asks me if I could incorporate her cousin and his oboe into any of my musical pieces, and I agreed to try to find the music to the R’Tzei, my favorite solo prayer in the Shabbat service. I hunted down the music and sent her cousin the piece, and he wrote the most beautiful oboe solo to my voice solo, only, I forgot to tell him to raise the key one half step. There we were, 5 minutes before the ceremony, and he had it written in entirely the wrong key.

Normally, not a problem, because if I needed to raise the key a half step, I could have used a capo on the guitar, but his was a half step lower, which resulted in chords that are disastrous to play for an amateur guitar player. (I need to take some professional lessons this month!!) But, miraculously, his son, a music major at NYU, was there, and he agreed to play my guitar for the piece. So, there we were, in the service, the 3 of us who had never seen each other, or played together, and we played the most magnificent rendition of the R’tzei, if I do say so myself.

It was a beautiful service. We sang Rick Recht’s Havdalah prayers over the wine, the candles, and the spices. They had a magnificent cocktail reception at the pool, with a Key West theme, and the night was a major success. It was actually one of my favorite services I’ve ever done! I hope they share the video with me!

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