rhu: (torah)
I love the seder, and it saddens me that so many Jews, not having learned why the seder was assembled the way it was, go through the motions but come away feeling that they've done their duty, dry and off-putting as it may be.

For a few years, I've wanted to write a hagadah to address this: no mystical commentary, no midrashic exegesis, just some simple answers to the disaffected child's question: "What does this service mean to you, anyway?" Somehow, I've never gotten the time.

But if I can't do the whole thing from soup to nuts -- er, from wine to wine? -- then I can at least open up a discussion thread here on my blog. What part(s) of the seder do you find alienating or do you wonder about? I'll do my best to answer.

[Feel free to share this link if you wish.]
rhu: (torah)
I love the seder, and it saddens me that so many Jews, not having learned why the seder was assembled the way it was, go through the motions but come away feeling that they've done their duty, dry and off-putting as it may be.

For a few years, I've wanted to write a hagadah to address this: no mystical commentary, no midrashic exegesis, just some simple answers to the disaffected child's question: "What does this service mean to you, anyway?" Somehow, I've never gotten the time.

But if I can't do the whole thing from soup to nuts -- er, from wine to wine? -- then I can at least open up a discussion thread here on my blog. What part(s) of the seder do you find alienating or do you wonder about? I'll do my best to answer.

[Feel free to share this link if you wish.]
rhu: (torah)
The month of Nisan has started, and in a few weeks we will be sitting down to our sedarim. As you may know, I collect haggadot, and each year I try to add at least one to my collection. This year, Koren Publishers sent me a review copy of their newest haggadah, The Koren Ethiopian Haggada: Journey to Freedom / The Gould Family Edition, edited by Rabbi Menachem Waldman. It is a welcome addition.

The title is somewhat misleading, though. The text of the haggadah is the standard Ashkenazi text; this is not an "Ethiopian Haggada" because a fixed rite of seder narrative did not exist, apparently, in their community. What makes this excellent volume "Ethiopian" is that the additional readings and graphic elements tell the story of the modern-day exodus of the Jews from Ethiopia.

(Cut for length) )

Of course, the mark of a successful seder is that you leave with more questions than you came in with. I opened this Haggadah not knowing that there were questions to be asked, and it has brought me up to the level of "What's this?"

If the worst that can be said about The Koren Ethiopian Haggada is that it leaves me with a world of new questions, then it is a very successful Haggadah indeed.
rhu: (torah)
The month of Nisan has started, and in a few weeks we will be sitting down to our sedarim. As you may know, I collect haggadot, and each year I try to add at least one to my collection. This year, Koren Publishers sent me a review copy of their newest haggadah, The Koren Ethiopian Haggada: Journey to Freedom / The Gould Family Edition, edited by Rabbi Menachem Waldman. It is a welcome addition.

The title is somewhat misleading, though. The text of the haggadah is the standard Ashkenazi text; this is not an "Ethiopian Haggada" because a fixed rite of seder narrative did not exist, apparently, in their community. What makes this excellent volume "Ethiopian" is that the additional readings and graphic elements tell the story of the modern-day exodus of the Jews from Ethiopia.

(Cut for length) )

Of course, the mark of a successful seder is that you leave with more questions than you came in with. I opened this Haggadah not knowing that there were questions to be asked, and it has brought me up to the level of "What's this?"

If the worst that can be said about The Koren Ethiopian Haggada is that it leaves me with a world of new questions, then it is a very successful Haggadah indeed.
rhu: (Default)

The Executive Summary

Please help me choose whether to enter a music competition, and which pieces to submit. Details behind the cut. )

Thanks!

rhu: (Default)

The Executive Summary

Please help me choose whether to enter a music competition, and which pieces to submit. Details behind the cut. )

Thanks!

rhu: (torah)
I've noticed that some of my fellow minyan-goers have various customs of responding with words that are not in the prayer book.

For example, one person responds to "mashiv ha-ruach u-morid ha-gashem" [You cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall] with "... livracha." [... for blessing.]

Another responds to each part of the priestly blessing with the usual "ken yehi ratzon" [May that be Your will] and continues "bizchut Avraham avinu" [in the merit of Abraham our father], then "bizchut Yitzchak avinu" [in the merit of Isaac our father] and finally "bizchut Yaakov avinu" [in the merit of Jacob our father].

It's got me wondering what other liturgical variations are not captured by our prayer books.
rhu: (torah)
I've noticed that some of my fellow minyan-goers have various customs of responding with words that are not in the prayer book.

For example, one person responds to "mashiv ha-ruach u-morid ha-gashem" [You cause the wind to blow and the rain to fall] with "... livracha." [... for blessing.]

Another responds to each part of the priestly blessing with the usual "ken yehi ratzon" [May that be Your will] and continues "bizchut Avraham avinu" [in the merit of Abraham our father], then "bizchut Yitzchak avinu" [in the merit of Isaac our father] and finally "bizchut Yaakov avinu" [in the merit of Jacob our father].

It's got me wondering what other liturgical variations are not captured by our prayer books.
rhu: (torah)
Last night at our shul we had the first meeting of an experimental minyan. The gist of it was that we were going to have a kabbalat shabbat service using choral settings of Carlebach and Lewandowski melodies, but with the entire community functioning as the chorus. (I.e., this was participatory, not performer-audience.) Our leaders (both shul members) were Josh Jacobson, founder and artistic director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, and Daniel Jackson.

Cut for length )
rhu: (torah)
Last night at our shul we had the first meeting of an experimental minyan. The gist of it was that we were going to have a kabbalat shabbat service using choral settings of Carlebach and Lewandowski melodies, but with the entire community functioning as the chorus. (I.e., this was participatory, not performer-audience.) Our leaders (both shul members) were Josh Jacobson, founder and artistic director of the Zamir Chorale of Boston, and Daniel Jackson.

Cut for length )
rhu: (torah)

With thanks to [livejournal.com profile] gnomi and to [livejournal.com profile] introverte's Ulpan teacher, I have fixed some glaring errors. Revised text behind the cut )

This text is covered by copyright but is available under a Creative Commons "BY" license.

rhu: (torah)

With thanks to [livejournal.com profile] gnomi and to [livejournal.com profile] introverte's Ulpan teacher, I have fixed some glaring errors. Revised text behind the cut )

This text is covered by copyright but is available under a Creative Commons "BY" license.

rhu: (torah)

[This is a revised re-post of an earlier friends-locked draft.]

In compiling and editing my own siddur, I have come across the problem of what to do about על הניסים (the prayer “For the Miracles”) for יום העצמאות (Israel’s Independence Day). Cut for length )

rhu: (torah)

[This is a revised re-post of an earlier friends-locked draft.]

In compiling and editing my own siddur, I have come across the problem of what to do about על הניסים (the prayer “For the Miracles”) for יום העצמאות (Israel’s Independence Day). Cut for length )

rhu: (torah)
Last night, I was reading a book about how one observes Israel Independence Day and stumbled across a beautiful discussion of one of the central prayers of Chanukah. I want to share it, even if it’s a little late. Read more... )
rhu: (torah)
Last night, I was reading a book about how one observes Israel Independence Day and stumbled across a beautiful discussion of one of the central prayers of Chanukah. I want to share it, even if it’s a little late. Read more... )

Who knew?

Dec. 13th, 2009 09:33 pm
rhu: (Default)
According to Wikipedia, the familiar English rendition of "Maoz Tzur" (it can't in all fairness be called a translation) was coauthored by none other than Jastrow of lexicographical fame.

Who knew?

Dec. 13th, 2009 09:33 pm
rhu: (Default)
According to Wikipedia, the familiar English rendition of "Maoz Tzur" (it can't in all fairness be called a translation) was coauthored by none other than Jastrow of lexicographical fame.
rhu: (torah)
I have heard that some people say an "Al hanissim" on Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim. I am curious about the texts that are used, where those texts originated, and how widespread the custom is becoming. I've done a Google search (but I don't know whether what I've found is just one person's invention or a wider community's minhag) and I've seen the text in Siddur Sim Shalom (but I don't know the provenance of that text).

Thoughts? Can you pass this on to your various networks?
rhu: (torah)
I have heard that some people say an "Al hanissim" on Yom Haatzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim. I am curious about the texts that are used, where those texts originated, and how widespread the custom is becoming. I've done a Google search (but I don't know whether what I've found is just one person's invention or a wider community's minhag) and I've seen the text in Siddur Sim Shalom (but I don't know the provenance of that text).

Thoughts? Can you pass this on to your various networks?

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rhu: (Default)
Andrew M. Greene

January 2013

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