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I watched your service on YouTube as I am not local at this time. However, Cantor AJ Edelman’s emotions and raw humility at conveying during the Hineni prayer he did not feel he was “…the best of Jews to fill that roll,” ?truly moved me. What is a “good Jew?” None of us are perfect, nor did Hashem create us to be so… otherwise, we would not be human, rather, we would be gods. As human beings created in G-d’s image, we strive to conduct the work of G-d as he would desire, yet, we all fall short. The emphasis on the fact that we “try” is paramount.
The High Holidays is the time to reflect and acknowledge our short-comings and to ask Hashem to guide us moving forward in what he needs us to do for Him. As humble people, we do not claim to be “good Jews”…. but we ARE Jews. And so, I cried with Cantor Edelman (went through half a box of Kleenex throughout the service) and as we move into a new year, pray that G-d Almighty guide us with His wisdom to be more G-dly in our actions and our words; to promote goodness over evil. It is said that “God helps those who help themselves;” a clear call to be actively engaged in rising above the evil we see so blatantly around us. We were not created to live in fear nor to succumb to that which seeks to swallow our souls into a void of despair. May this new year bring with it hope, fearlessness, and striving to LIVE a good life and not merely “exist.”
I thoroughly enjoyed the service and commend Cantor Edelman’s rawness and his blessed ability to share openly with all who prayed with him the candor of his (and all of our) failings. He was the PERFECT one to represent all of us! To be a part of that was a mitzvah. G-d forgives and I’m sure The Almighty shed a tear with us and for us.
The only suggestion I would have is I would have liked to have a special prayer of remembrance dedicated to those brave 13 young soldiers who lost their lives in Afghanistan, trying to help people and protect the vulnerable. This loss was one that impacted the world and their act of selflessness and goodness warrant a special mention during this sacred time. A sacrifice worthy of honor and reflection.
I also miss having some English prayers in addition to Hebrew, as had been part of the service in years gone by (I remember Stanley Roth reading in unison and responsively with the congregants) for those whose Hebrew may not be proficient. This would provide a more inclusive experience. Also, if you could post the prayer book you are using on your website, it would help those who cannot be present to follow along by purchasing the same book either from the shul or online.
Thank you again for the moving service and I look forward to sharing Yom Kippur with you again, though from over 1,000 miles away; my heart and spirit are still there in the Carnegie Shul. Wishing all a shana tova!
Sharyn Tisherman (daughter of Harris (Herschel) and Roseann Tisherman, in loving memory)
We use the High Holiday Prayer Book by Philip Birnbaum. Here is a link to buying a used copy High Holyday Prayer Book Yom by Philip Birnbaum – AbeBooks
High Holyday Prayer Book Yom by Philip Birnbaum – AbeBooks
High Holyday Prayer Book: Yom Kippur by Translation & Annotations) Philip Birnbaum and a great selection of rela…
Birnbaum’s Shabbos prayer book that we use is available as an on-line pdf for free but I have not been able to find the High Holiday book on line.
Here is a link to an interesting article on the book https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/why-a-high-holidays-prayer-book-is-still-going-strong-after-70-years/
Why a High Holidays prayer book is still going strong after 70 years
With so much rapid changes in today’s world, the things that stay the same provide solace; for many, the Birnbau…
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| sh oōl;
synagogue : on High Holidays he attended shul.
ORIGIN late 19th cent.:
Yiddish, from German Schule ‘school.’
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