Kol Nidrei

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  • You want to provide Structure and Meaning
  • Try to balance English & Hebrew, text & explanations, talking & silent meditation - while still keeping the whole service smooth and connected
  • Tell people how long its going to be, so they know what they're in for
  • Open strong, and close strong
  • Be genuine, don't be apologetic - people want an authentic service and they're here because they want to be here.


[edit] Text study

  • Purpose: to discus YK/teshuva outside of prayer - otherwise you are faced with the same prayers year after year; it's nice to look at the Yom Kippur process through different texts
    • and to ease people in, let them meet other people, let their voice be heard
    • especially if people are uncomfortable with a mechitza, having mixed learning groups is a good way to ease them in (while not denying what the prayer is going to be like)
  • Break into small groups of 15-20 so everyone can participate
  • Introduce, what to expect / want / look forward to in YK experience
  • Read text on teshuva, ask questions, discuss
  • Connect back to YK, transition to space for prayer
  • who's going to hold the torahs, open aron

[edit] Kol Nidrei

[edit] Meditation

A meditation could certainly help set the mood and you could talk with people about commitments they have made and haven’t made, about commitments they may have broken, about the wisdom of not making commitments unless we are very clear about them, and about the minhag to say bli neder when you promise something. Give people a few minutes to think to themselves in silence before starting. Or have people turn to the person next to them and share/discuss a commitment or goal - added goal of creating kehilah (5-10min)

[edit] Meaning

This is one of the most prominent paragraphs in all of prayer and its powerful tune is famous (even beyond its appearance in Jazz Singer). But what does this prayer even mean? From whence has it taken on its primal role in the holiest day of the year? Commitments to yourself and to others, time to acknowledge and evaluate what kept/failed, and think about realistic commitments for next year

[edit] Recital

After discussing the meaning, have the participants read through the words silently, as the chazzan chants it 3 times. Draw out the tune, as its haunting melody sets the stage for the serious, penitential mood that has arrived.

[edit] al daat hamakom

  • all together, unifying, representative of kehal
  • pesukim on this process
  • shecheyanu - entering this unique time
  • shabat - shabbat shabaton as unifying/equalizing rest, relax and positive emotions

[edit] Maariv

  • night being a time of both fear and hope, dreams.
  • epitomized by shema as declaration of faith.
  • barchu as call for prayer
  • shema preceded and succeeded by transitional blessings

[edit] Silent Amidah

amida - time to stand and talk to gd, (long) silent personal time

[edit] Selichot and Communal Viduy

  • slichot - explain each section
  • 13 midot - recalling g-ds attributes, asking him to act on them, and for us - imitatio dei
  • ki anu amecha - different imageries for relationship
  • vidui - time for meditation about everything we do wrong, from A-Z.
  • people will appreciate the space/time for personal meditation, explaining and bringing it together communally
    • plural, to tie-in to communal responsibilities
  • al cheit - sin is moral/character traits and issurim/actions; alternate btwn hebrew/english
    • poem to read?

[edit] Avinu Malkeinu

[edit] Meaning

The title words for the prayer, and every line of the prayer, are more than just the titles - they are very essence of the prayer. Avinu - our Father; Malkeinu - our King. In terms of relating to God, this sets up two paradigms - as a loving Father and as the All-Powerful King; Lucky for us, the All-Powerful King is also out loving Father. That imagery is evoked at every line, and it might be even more important than the request it introduces. realize vulnerabilities, needs, wants

[edit] Recital

Read through the entire prayer together out loud, starting each line with "Avini Malkeinu" but reciting the remainder in English. Maybe sing the last line in Hebrew, if there are enough people who can join in.

[edit] Psalms and the End

  • l'david mizmor - sincerety as religious worship, someone who is sincere and true will be blessed
  • Goal is sincerity in all of our actions and be true to ourselves – those commitments we will fulfill because they are the essence of who we are and what we care about: actions and words as a means of coming closer to God
  • aleinu - together, communal praise and responsibility, thru religion.
  • ldavid - fear and hope

[edit] Other things to plan

  • Palm cards with info, inviting people
  • Get people to spread the word, freshmen to bring friends
  • invite people from H2H meals, lists, etc.
  • Location (Hillel? not Hillel?)
  • Who is davening, who is 'splaining
  • Getting regulars to come, help set the mood, sing along
  • Remember who came and Follow-up!

[edit] NJOP:

NJOP offers two guided programs - High Holidays Abridged Beginners Services and Full-Length High Holiday Beginners Services.
Contact Larry Greenman to find out more

[edit] At Last, A High Holiday Service For Those Who Aren't So High On The Holidays

Not looking forward to Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur again this year? DO you feel like you go to synagogue out of guilt and feel even ore guilty after you leave? You don't understand the language of the rituals? The rabbi seems to be talking to everyone but me? Believe it or not, millions of American Jews feel exactly the way you do. That's why NJOP and this congregation have designed the " High Holiday Beginners Servie". The BS is conducted in both English and HEbrew, so everyone can follow along. All prayers and traditions are explained by a dynamic leader. Questions are encouraged. You'll even be able to sing along! So this RH and YK, treat yourself to the HH BS. You'll never look at the HH the same way.

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