Intensity, spirituality, emotionality and renewal are a few words which describe the High Holy Days which I’ve just experienced, my first as the Religious Leader of Seaside Jewish Community. A cadre of volunteers surrounded our transformation of Epworth United Methodist church and created a prayer space which enfolded and uplifted us, as we journeyed together toward teshuvah, revitalization and forgiveness. It was my opportunity to find my speaking voice, writing and delivering three D’rashes throughout the Holy Days and expressing, for the first time ever, what is on my heart and leading from my own story. The most important lesson I learned is that I DO have something to say! After 30 years of
singing, I truly enjoyed expressing my deepest hopes and devastations, drawing the energy of the room together as we chanted, prayed and learned together. My clergy partner Rabbi Simcha Daniel Burstyn served as my Cantor and complimented my chant style with a sonorous bass, adding traditional prayer and deep spiritual perspective. I cannot imagine anything more rewarding than finding my speaking voice to express my understanding and expansion of the liturgy, inviting others to participate and to open their hearts and draw together our congregation toward Holiness.
As we head into October, with leaves falling and weather turning, my prayer for all of us is that we ALL find our voices for Holiness as we raise our hands and our energies toward kindness, good deeds and making the world better for those in need.