Rabbi Levi Yitzhak overwhelmed by the suffering of the Jewish people stands before the Almighty on the “Holiest of Days” and calls God to stand on trial. Levi Yitzhak asks the question “what does HaShem want from His people?”
Last night during dinner with Leo Bretholz, the author of Leap Into Darkness, my wife Janice and I entered into an unforgettable conversation with Leo that grappled with difficult and sometimes painful questions dealing with God and faith.
The limitless questions always arise but where are the answers?
The answers are not complicated. You just have to know where to look.
So many answers can be found in the heartfelt long established and codified prayers we recite on the High Holidays.
The beginning of the journey each Jewish year to find answers commence on Saturday night, September 4th at 10:00 p.m. in the Chizuk Amuno Sanctuary during a reflective, humbling, awe-inspiring service called “Selichot.”
Many of the Selichot prayers were composed before the 7th century. Persecution against the Jews and the prohibition to copy sacred texts made it extremely difficult to pass down original prayers except through word of mouth. That was until the 9th century when Rav. Amram Gaon (856-874) composed his time honored prayerbook which also includes the Selichot.
During our Selichot services through an invigorated commitment to faith and if we listen harder we can become part of the eternal transmission of our faith through the power behind and inside prayer.
Adding to the musical majesty of the sacred text we will also have a Professional String Quartet along with our Professional Choir, under the direction of T. Herbert Dimmock, to assist us in getting into the “mood” for the upcoming High Holidays.
Hazzan Emanuel C. Perlman