By David A. Orenstein
The rabbis were kind enough this year to invite me to share some thoughts and observations about the High Holiday season and the role of the shofar. (I know, hard to believe it’s that time of year already).
My favorite line of the Rosh Hashanah shofar service has always been: “Awake ye sleepers from your slumber.” I thought of it recently at the morning minyan, which my dad and I have attended once a week for about the past ten years. (Then off to Perkins for pancakes).
The line came to mind, in part, because we are now beginning the 30-day run-up to Rosh Hashanah. During that period, the shofar is sounded every morning at the conclusion of the service.
But that’s not the only reason I thought of sleepers awakening from their slumber. First, I have to interrupt my slumber pretty early in the morning to pick up my dad and get to services at 7:20.
But also, I find that the simple act of attending services brings a different kind of self-awakening. Going to morning minyan often creates a little distance between myself and my work. It counters the tendency I have to let my work engulf and define me. Then, I get to the office, turn on the computer, and am swallowed up once again.
Or maybe not quite.
I invite all of you to wake up a little earlier once or twice during the next 30 days and come to morning minyan. I would be particularly appreciative because my dad and I are in the one-year period after my mother’s death and we can say Kaddish only if we have ten people present.
If you are willing to attend, please call Meira Silverstein at 952.215.3926 and sign up.
Many of you have told me how much you enjoy the shofar blowing on Rosh Hashanah and that it’s a peak moment of the service. If you come to morning minyan during the next 30 days, I promise you a rousing and resounding Tekiah Gedolah.
And who knows, although I can’t promise it, you may find yourself experiencing that other kind self-awakening: a moment of switching off the automatic pilot that we sometimes ride thru the day and of noticing something about who you are and who you could be. For me, it’s a rare and welcome sense of possibility.
Adath clergy, staff and congregants share