Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey

May 2016 Message from President Howie Hirsch

For those of you who were not fortunate enough to be a part of the service on March 18th, I want to relate what a special service it was. One of the complaints over the years in our service is that we do the same thing week after week. The same prayers, the same melodies. For some, the repetition is warm and welcoming. For others, it is simply a rote repetition of the prayers and they have lost the meaning. I find the repetition comforting, but I also need a little shaking up at times to remind me of the meaning of the prayers.

Rabbi Dubin was able to shake us up a bit at this service. Instead of reciting the prayers as we normally do, he would have us turn to the page in the book, let us read the prayer silently, give a short story of the meaning of the prayer, and then read a haiku for each and every prayer. Some of the prayers received more than one haiku. Some were funny, some were inspirational and some went over my head. But it served to remind me that looking at our prayers and our lives from more than one direction is a healthy thing to do, because we easily get into our lives and let things pass by without giving them too much thought. The coolest haiku we did was the S’hma, which the rabbi pointed out is a haiku all by itself. This Shabbat service gave me the opportunity to see how our prayers are meaningful in a different way, and I for one truly appreciated it.

In addition, we had a special section of the service where the women in the Kahan family received Jewish names. I have known Molly and Emma since they were babies, so being there for this special moment in their lives was very special to me. Each woman chose a name that was special to them.

If you do not have a Hebrew name, please speak to the Rabbi.

I wish you all a wonderful Pesach.
Howie Hirsch

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Last updated: May 18, 2016