Gabbai’s Corner: When, Where, Why?

MCJC Connections
March/April 2018 * Adar/Nissan/Iyar * Volume 5778

By Gene Lindow

We are fast approaching the half-way point of the Jewish Year —Passover. It seems like we just finished the High Holidays. For me, this is my time for revisiting not only my goals and convictions regarding Judaism, but also my moral compass for how to interact with everyone I come in contact. I have so much to concentrate on, but that is who I am.

Pesach to me is very special, for it has been a “command performance” for decades that we get together and retell the story of the Exodus. My better half, Sandy, feels that the Seder should be in the home if at all possible, therefore she VOLUNTOLD herself over twenty years ago to host it. She continues to do an incredible job—todah!

This year Rabbi Tom is going to lead the second night community Seder at MCJC, and he wants it to be even better than last year – in attendance as well as in inspiration. To get us to grasp the significance of the holiday, Rabbi Tom is discussing with his Wednesday classes the topic of Pesach. But what about Shabbos?

Many of us work and are unable to attend the mid-day classes. Therefore, the Ritual Committee has come up with a five-week trial period (which has already begun) where we will have three aliyahs instead of seven during Shabbos. We’ll have more discussion/learning of the parsha and the upcoming holiday, and still end at the normal time.

We are trying different approaches to Judaism not to upset anyone but rather to try to get more people engaged. The Saturday morning attendees are truly enjoying the additional, thought-provoking, two-way conversations. PLEASE join us on Shabbos morning. I promise to respect your wishes of whether or not you would like an honor.

Passover, as you know, is an eight-day holiday here (diaspora) but only seven in Israel. The seventh day this year is also Shabbos, so to make it easier for your participation, we are going to hold the Yizkor service during that Saturday morning service on April 7. There are four times during the year that we recite the memorial prayers, and Passover is one of them.

I look forward to receiving your feedback regarding these temporary adaptations in the service, for we are looking at all options to make the practice of Judaism more relevant for you and your family at MCJC.

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