Category Archives: The Avodah Service

Not Only Teardrops: Thinking of God, Israel, Eurovision and the High Holidays

Jared Gimbel
September 21, 2013

A week after being asked to gather thoughts to write about the High Holidays, I found myself at a café in Heidelberg, very pensive. While wondering what approach to take with the endless topic  “Yamim Noraim”, more accurately translated as “The Terrible Days” (when have you last seen that translation in writing?), a sudden awakening was provided More »

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How He Looked

Rabbi Scott Perlo
September 20, 2013

בס”ד I never knew about the Avodah service – the part of Yom Kippur that describes High Priest’s atonement sacrifices while the Temple in Jerusalem still stood – not until I was a junior in college, at least. Either I was never exposed to it, or, as was my wont, simply didn’t pay enough attention More »

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Flying Solo

Lauren Henderson
September 19, 2013

I often think about Yom Kippur as a solo experience.  Even though I spend all of Yom Kippur surrounded by hundreds of other Jews praying, it’s really about me and God in dialogue, as if it were only the two of us in the room.  So it’s a bit strange that the only piece of More »

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Where Heaven and Earth Meet

Yoni A. Dahlen
September 18, 2013

It is said that the Name is breath – that the ‘yud’ and the ‘heh’ is inhalation followed by the release of the ‘vav heh.’ It is said that the Name never ends, that as long as a body has breath, the Name is forever on its lips. God exists in the dance set by More »

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Nostalgia: An Underrated Jewish Value

Rabbi Alon C Ferency
September 17, 2013

Be careful what you wish for: I always wanted to work with a curious, educated, incisive congregation, and I got it.  As you can imagine, this comes with its own challenges: my congregants are also opinionated and strong-willed.  For example, conversations about ritual and worship are regularly punctuated with the question, “Why do we have More »

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Yom Kippur Away From Home

Maxwell Zachs
September 16, 2013

Last year I left North London with its over abundance of Jewish communities of all kinds and moved to Stockholm where I was faced with a decision I hadn’t thought I would ever be faced with: Orthodox, Chabad, or Masorti. It was a decision I was not equipped to make since hitherto I had only More »

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Our Stories, Ourselves

Rabbi Adam Greenwald
September 15, 2013

When the Baal Shem Tov had a difficult task to perform, he would go to a certain place in the woods, light a fire, and meditate on the secrets of his heart, and his prayer was answered. A generation later, the Maggid of Mezritch was faced with the same task. He would go to the More »

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My Unconventional Rebbe

Caryn Aviv
September 13, 2013

 “If it be your will,  That I speak no more, And my voice be still, As it was before,  I will speak no more, I shall abide until, I am spoken for, If it be your will.”   Leonard Cohen became my rebbe this year. In a botanic garden with hundreds of people, I will be pray-singing many of More »

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Am I Born Just To Serve?

Naomi Less
September 11, 2013

Dear Readers, Over the course of this year, I will be exploring the S Blog topics through a musical lens.  As I am a singer/songwriter, I am keenly aware of the power of music used as a tool to open us up to deeper exploration playing upon the emotions.  Some music will be original, including More »

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