Recently, I dusted off my shofar and have been brushing up on my shofar-blowing skills to prepare for the upcoming High Holidays.
Howard Lev is a member of Temple B’nai Torah in Wantagh, N.Y. and currently serves on the temple's rituals committee. Married with two children, Howard is a theatre professional who has worked on a number of Broadway and off-Broadway shows, including the national tour of The King & I. He has also been published in Newsday.
As I practiced my Haftarah, the words flowed, but I didn't feel emotion, perhaps because I didn't fully understand the portion. So I took the time to try to understand the meaning of the words.
At a recent Friday evening Shabbat service, my rabbi spoke to the congregation and, without singling me out, told me I was indifferent. I wasn’t angry at him for saying so – I was angry at myself because he was correct.
Inspired by Stan, our congregation's 83-year-old bar mitzvah boy, I’m thinking that I may not wait until I turn 83 to recreate some part of my entry into adulthood, according to Jewish tradition, on an upcoming Friday night.