leansed, theThe High Holiday season is always a very exciting but trying time. This year has a different feel to it for me. I am not as nervous as I usually am. I don’t know it it is good or bad, but I do know that Rosh HaShana services went very well. I felt really good about it and my congregants seemed quite happy as well (thank G-d!). I am just a little more concerned about tomorrow night because my asthma has not been good. I am going to the doctor this morning to see what is going on. I get this every mid-September. It is most probably a sinus infections due to allergies, but I gotta go and pray for a miracle. I have been singing Kol Nidre for several years now and every Yom Kippur I feel like I am singing it for the first time. I feel so honored to lead the congregation into intensive prayer which includes, confession, atonement, and self reflection. Yizkor, the service that helps us remember those loved ones we have lost and the those that fought for our freedoms is always an emotional part of the service and an honor for me to lead. These are some of the blessings that I have been bestowed with.
Music has been so much fun! I found and learned some new pieces for all ages, and the students seem to enjoy them. One of my teen asked me if I had a song about Jonah. I found one. The one I had I didn’t care for so I learned a new one that has been around for a while, and I have no clue why I haven’t used it! It is by Jeffrey Klepper and Jeffrey Salkin.
While talking about the music yesterday at Temple Beth Torah, I called Yom Kippur a holiday. One of the other teachers teachers told me he does not consider it a holiday. We explained to each other our different philosophies. He feels it is a day of commemoration, a day of confession, atonement, and soul searching. I do too, but I also feel it is a day that helps us feel renewed and crefore, a happy day. No, we do not say Chag Sameach, have a happy holiday. Our greetings and departures are “G’mar Chatima Tova”, may you be sealed in the book of life, in other words, on Rosh HaShana it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed.
May we all finish well.