I started a new congregational position this year. The job, which is part-time, is at a wonderful congregation that meets in a 315-year old Presbyterian church. Since my working hours are limited, I am focused on making the most of my time there.
In the traditional liturgy, the special character of each holiday is particularly conveyed by the piyyutim (hymns, liturgical poems) that are recited or chanted on that day. Most of these piyyutim have been omitted in Reform liturgies since the nineteenth century, out of a sense that their Hebrew diction is too arcane and their theology too medieval. Yet, some of these poems have routinely been retained in Reform High Holy Day prayer books, particularly for Yom Kippur.
Tekiah! Teruah! Shevarim! Tekiah Gedolah!
My wife Robin and I have a suburban problem. We recently bought our first house, and it features both a formal living room, which I call the living room, and a “family room,” which I also keep referring to as the living room. It gets confusing.
Descriptions of God are speculation, imagination, projection, fantasy, philosophical proposition or pure poetry. Some are banal. Some are hate-filled. Some are so sublime they move us to tears. Some lead us to insights about ourselves. Some transport us beyond our parochial perceptions to act on behalf of others. Notions of God represent our greatest hopes or fears about the power that lies far beyond us or both beyond and within us