Monday, September 29, 2003

Spent the last two days going to Rosh Hashanah services -- today was a treat, because we got to hear the shofar blowing (omitted yesterday because it was Shabbat). I would have liked to hear more of that call to "wake up! examine your life!" Some spiritual moments during the musaf service, especially during the Unetanneh Tokef and Kedushah. It's hard to focus and pay attention to the words -- so easy to get distracted by thinking about one's neighbors in the adjacent seats, about the rabbi, about the class I have to teach tomorrow, about the impression one makes on others....all the minutiae of life.

A sermon yesterday on new grandchildren, today on changes and newness -- interesting to hear what "traditions" people get used to and resent having changed. My synagogue a couple of years ago adopted the new Conservative prayerbook (an updated version of Sim Shalom) -- finally changing from the Silverman siddur. Of course, the Silverman itself contained some remarkable changes from the traditional liturgy, such as the elimination of mention of animal sacrifices and the prayers to reinstitute the Temple service in Jerusalem -- but we got used to those changes long ago, and now what exercises people is trying some gender-equity in the English translations....

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