We were in the library of a synagogue in Washington, D.C. The man at the bimah had short red-blonde hair and wore wire-rim glasses. He was on the small side and his voice was high. I remember marking the paradox: that someone singing something so weighty could do something in such a high pitch.
It must have been startling to watch. And cathartic. That little goat up there. I’d put my sins on him. Oh yeah, I totally would. We all would. And then they would send him away. Trot off, little sins! Go out into the wilderness and never come back! And then there’s the other goat. That
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
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
“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