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Who is invited to Shma Koleinu for the High Holy Days?

08/27/2019 01:58:54 PM


If you are a regular reader of this blog, or familiar with Shma Koleinu, you’ll probably know the obvious answer to this question.  “Everyone.”

However, sometimes “everyone” sounds too general to be meaningful, too “umbrellaish” to not get wet.  So, let’s talk about it.

Who is invited to Shma Koleinu for the High Holy Days?  The next several weeks of blogs are going to feature some special folks (not by name) and I want them (you) to know –

YOU are invited and welcomed and embraced and encouraged to join us,

so that you can find a sacred space at this precious time of the year.

Special Invitation #1 - The “Dis-Connected”

Sometimes, folks like to push a Rabbi’s buttons.  Or at least what they believe are our buttons.  “I don’t believe in God.”  - Oh my word!

“I don’t fast on Yom Kippur.” – Heavens to Betsy!

“I left Temple as soon as I had my Bar Mitzvah, and I haven’t been back.”  - Jiminy cricket!

“I tell the Rabbi that he better keep his sermon short, because I have Yom Kippur lunch plans!” – Jeepers!

“I don’t even know who Alex Bregman is!” – Blimey!

Truth is, it takes a lot more irreverence than that, to set this Rabbi off-kilter.  Nonetheless, for far too long, in far too many spaces and places (synagogues and others), people have been made to feel unwelcome and unimportant, I believe, because their “inside” doesn’t match their “outside.”  That how they do truly feel in their heart isn’t well communicated by their lips.  And/or how what they say with their mouths isn’t a true reflection of the sentiments that flow through their heart.  And that often, rejections of spirituality or religious practice are due to the presumption that religion and belief are “all or nothing” propositions.  Please allow me to be clear – they aren’t. There is no pre-existing condition of belief required in order to pray.  And you don’t have to mean every single word you say or speak or sing, in order for it to work.  Work?  How do I know if it worked?  How do I know it worked?  Because it makes me feel.  It makes me feel joy or delight or remorse or regret or illuminated or clear-headed or steady or challenged or just more deeply.

If you feel “Dis-Connected” from Judaism, God, Jewish practice…even yourself and your loved ones (at times or quite often), you are most welcome at Shma Koleinu’s High Holy Days.  This is the time of year to work out the kinks.  You may find that you feel just a bit more connected than you did, when you arrived.  To sign up for High Holy Day passes, click here.

Sat, July 11 2020 19 Tammuz 5780