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Days of Awesome. . .Totally

Friday, 29 September, 2017 - 1:52 am

Kid standing in the synagogue lobby sees a bronze plaque “for the brave soldiers who died in the service”; he wondered if it was the Rosh Hashanah Service or the Yom Kippur one!

For those who go to shul two times a year plus bar mitzvahs, I don’t know how you do it!  I mean, sitting through something you have little idea what’s going on and where it’s all heading. ...yet you keep coming back, and that’s incredible.
 
I like history and I love Jewish history.  When I’m in Jerusalem’s Old City and I see the tour guides leading their charges down the street, a street that’s layered with stories, from the time before the Romans, the Romans, a hundred years ago, the battle in 1948, 1967 – and he just leads them along like it’s a route from the Wall to the pizza shop, I feel like stopping those poor, innocent tourists and telling them “You’re being robbed!”
 
But on Rosh Hashanah I’m as guilty as the tour guides.  Don’t get me wrong, in the services we explain what’s going on, everything is translated in English, the singing is transliterated so everyone can sing along, people always tell me how much they learned, how emotional it was, how spiritual, even if it’s a first time but . . .there’s so much I simply can’t cram in there.
 
A few years ago a dear friend stood up in the Davening and told us of how as a little boy hiding from the Nazis in the forests he wanted to daven on Yom Kippur.  He remembered a tune his Shul would sing, and he sang that song over and over again.  Now sixty years later he sang it again . . .and slowly, slowly we joined in. Forget that there wasn’t a dry eye in the place, we sang through our tears. One of the ladies met me the next morning waving a handful of tissues:  try a fast one on me again I’m prepared this time.
 
Days of Awesome, and to give it a California touch, totally.
 
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