… boring. So says Abigail Pogrebin. In her intriguing article on Tablet magazine (www.tabletmag.com) she discusses how rabbis and congregants alike have made High Holiday services boring and she suggests what might be done to remedy them. Much of what she says resonates with me. It is a magnificent and challenging time of year.
She suggests some inspiring ways for rabbis to transform the services – to pose a provocative question, source a Hebrew lyric, to look up from the prayerbook and speak directly to congregants, and demand more self- examination. For congregants she suggests – not abbreviating the experience, taking time to study the Mahzor, and deliberately making the experience more demanding.
For my part I’ve got some teaching planned for before the Torah reading, several poignant stories about Israel, what I hope is a sermon that challenges both thought and practice, and intriguing explanations for why we do what we do.