Dear members and friends of CBI,
Many of you have spoken with me about the things you do and don’t enjoy about our “usual” Shabbat morning service, and also about the desire to do something a bit different from time to time.
I’m writing to let you know that I am planning one “special service” — one service which does something a little bit different from our usual mode of prayer — during each month of this winter and spring.
On January 21, I will lead a service which leavens the words of our siddur with contemporary poetry — not the poems which appear in Mishkan T’filah, but diverse beloved poems from my own deep bookshelves.
On February 25, we’ll have a special guest; I will once again be leading davenen (prayer / services) with my friend rabbinic student David Markus. Edited to add: Alas, David can’t join us this month — but we’ll see him in March! David will me also on March 17. We’ll bring new music, harmonies, Torah teachings, and joy to both of these services. (He’s led with me at CBI before — most recently in mid-November.)
On April 28, I will lead a contemplative service, a chant-based service featuring a stripped-down liturgy of short chants interspersed with meditative silence which will allow the meanings of the prayers to settle deeply in our hearts. (This will be similar, though not identical, to the contemplative chant-based service I led in early November; we will pray with many of the same melodies we used then.)
On May 5, I will lead our first ever Rumi Shabbat — a morning service in which each prayer of the morning service is paired with a poem by Persian mystic poet Rumi, so that the Rumi poems illuminate our prayers in new ways.
I always look forward to seeing you at CBI (and I know that the same is true of R’ Howard Cohen and R’ Pam Wax, our other usual shlichei tzibbur / prayer-leaders) — and I especially hope that one or more of these special services will appeal to you.
Your thoughts, questions, and comments are always welcome!