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Looking Forward to More Music at Beth Sholom

04/20/2016 04:58:12 PM

Apr20

February 12th, 2016
3 Adar 1 5776

Dear Friends,

I hear we had a great Beth Sholom turnout at Federation's Super Sunday last week - thanks to all who volunteered, and to all who pledged. Thanks also to so many of you who helped with Lox Box as packers, drivers, organizers, shleppers, and much more. I am always amazed at how often you give ofyour time and energy in service of our wonderful shul. Thank you all for lending a hand.
Special kudos to the Bilskys for chairing SuperSunday, Keri Unowsky for chairing Lox Box, and to the Warhaftig-Rossi household for hosting the young families annual Super Bowl party this year. The game wasn't that exciting, but the company was great!

I know there is a lot going on in our community these days, with the JCC Film Festival and Ambassador Dermer's talk on the 22nd. We are blessed to live in a community that has so many ways to live a Jewish lifestyle.

As you probably know by now, one of my favorite ways to connect Jewishly is through music. I was raised on Jewish music (Billy Joel and the Beach Boys too), and music has been a significant part of my own identity for many years. There is almost always a song in my head, and there is little I enjoy more in this world than making music with wonderful people.

At Beth Sholom, we will soon have a few opportunities for us all to be inspired by music. First, on February 26th, I'm going to lead a Friday night drumming service at 6 pm at Beth Sholom. I know many of you enjoyed the drum circle with the Rubinsteins a few years ago. This will be a little different - it will be a service, with drums, shakers, clapping, and rhythm. I'll be honest - I don't honestly know what it will look like yet, but at the conference I was at last week the leaders suggested that we rabbis need to be risk-takers. So let's take a risk together and explore what a drum-service will look like. No drumming experience is required to attend. Please DO bring any drums, shakers, and percussion instruments you own with you - I don't have so many to pass around. Be creative - spices can make great shakers. Bottles and jars can make great drums! Spaghetti and pasta boxes make a nice sound too (and you can donate to the food bank afterwards - a double mitzvah!).

Why a drum service? 
About ten years ago I was at a personal growth conference all about healing. We had a drum circle with about 1,000 people - it was remarkable to hear so many people drumming together. I had two thoughts during it - first was that I needed to do that more often, and second was that I needed to create DrumDaven! and get Jews drumming together (daven is yiddish for prayer). So let's do it - it'll be different, creative, and we'll have a good time and pray in a different way. 

Secondly, the weekend of March 11th and 12th will be a remarkable weekend of music at Beth Sholom. We'll be hosting members of Nava Tehila, Jerusalem's Jewish Renewal community. They'll be leading us in a glorious musical service Friday night, and Saturday night we'll have a concert with them, both at Beth Sholom. Friday night we'll have a dinner at Beth Sholom - please call the office now and make your reservations - $25/person for the dinner, kids under 13 are free. You don't need to attend the dinner on Friday to attend the service, though we hope you will as they have some special melodies and intentions that help bring in Shabbat in a unique way. The concert Saturday night is free - we are grateful to our generous sponsors (and our organizers) for making it happen.

Nava Tehila's visit is part of our 60th Anniversary celebration, and we hope you will make every effort to attend. They are at the forefront of Jewish spirituality today and many communities around the Jewish world (including us!) are using their innovative melodies and techniques to recreate and renew our experience of prayer and spirituality. We are blessed to be able to have them with us. Please call the office and make your reservations. (Yourpayment is your reservation for Friday night. Please also let us know if you're attending Saturday night so we can plan accordingly).

I've been hearing lots of questions about whether or not kids are welcome at the service and concert. The answer is a resounding, 1000% YES! Kids are a regular part of the Nava Tehila community and they welcome kids attendance at our events. Having been a part of the Nava Tehila community for a number of years now, I find it amazing that the kids who attend are often better able to experience the music and connection than the adults. We adults have been trained not to dance, laugh, cry, be curious, or do anything different than whatever society tells us. Kids are still able to access a sense of wonder, play, and connection much easier than many adults. I have no doubt that kids will enjoy the events - hopefully we can learn from them how to get out of our heads and into our hearts!

That being said, we are planning on having babysitting for both events in case your child wishes to be there instead of in the main programming.

Nava Tehila now comes to the US a few times per year to tour, in addition to their services and programs in Israel. Many of my colleagues describe a Nava Tehila visit as a highlight of their congregation's year. I'm sure it will be for us as well.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions about Nava Tehila's visit or DrumDaven! or anything else I can be helpful with.

As always, we're grateful to have each of you in our community. Tomorrow morning services will be at 9:15. Our Torah reading focuses on the building of the tabernacle, which was God's dwelling-place amongst the children of Israel. We'll be discussing what that might look like today - how do we make space for God in our communities, in our homes in our hearts?

Wishing us all a Shabbat of joy and love, harmony, and peace.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Ilan

Mon, November 18 2019 20 Cheshvan 5780