Tag Archives: Matt Axelrod

Turning Your Home into a Sacred Space

Lots of Jews in our regions, for Sabbath keep the lights on from Friday afternoon, having no television or internet facilities and now being confronted with difficulties for feeling a togetherness and a feeling of having the right service for the Elohim, because they wonder if it would be all right to have a service via the modern tools and internet.

Having the Beis HaElohim and shuls already four months closed for study and prayer because of the corona lockdown, many feel 9 Av as an extra special day of sadness this year, them not having a meeting place, like our parents and grandparents were not able to gather because of the Nazi’s in the previous century. But this time it is not man but nature that keeps them and us in its grip.

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To remember

  • Take advantage of these unusual circumstances to experience something new.

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Preceding

Social Distanced but Spiritually Close

Hineni for our Virtual Services

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Find also to read:

  1. Eykhah – How can it be?
  2. Dark times looking like death is around the corner – but Light given to us
  3. Israel celebrates Purim amid Coronavirus outbreak – ILTV Israel news – Mar. 9, 2020
  4. Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder
  5. One Passover tradition asking to provide the less fortunate with foods and help
  6. In a time when we must remain in our place
  7. 2020 A Passover seder meeting limited to members of the family
  8. 9 Av: Tisha B’Av 2020
  9. 9 Av 2020 en Dagen van droefheid
  10. Geestelijke affaires in CoViD-19 afzonderingstijden
  11. Voor het eerst in jaren weer een Pesach in isolatie
  12. Isolatietijd vrij te nemen voor jezelf
  13. Ontnomen van een gebedshuis #1 Doodveroorzakers
  14. Ontnomen van een gebedshuis #2 In de greep van een coronavirus

Cantor Matt Axelrod

וְעָשׂוּ לִי מִקְדָּשׁ וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתוֹכָם

They will make me a sanctuary and I will dwell among them.

For months now, we’ve all become accustomed to working from home–it’s gone more smoothly for some than for others. Social media has been replete with work-from-home fails: toddlers barging in on important calls, dogs and landscapers disrupting meetings with intrusive background noise, and even partially clad family members being caught on camera. Convenience aside, there’s a reason why work is kept in the workplace.

What we haven’t heard nearly as much about is praying from home. With synagogues shuttered, congregants have had to avail themselves of the various live feeds, streaming, and Zoom services that their temples have created. Furthermore, the pandemic and its continuing restrictions have forced us to begin planning extensively for the High Holidays considerably earlier than usual.

Be assured that your synagogue–wherever you belong–has already been thinking, planning, strategizing…

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Hineni for our Virtual Services

Whilst many in our regions are questioning if we can have virtual meetings or services or if we can create our own new texts, it looks like it that in the United States they are a lot of steps in front of us, recognising that we need new ways to gather but also should not be afraid to see that traditional texts of our familiar prayers need to be updated as well.

Cantor Matt Axelrod

Streaming services? Check. Virtual Choirs? Working on it.

But has anyone given any thought to the fact that the traditional texts of our familiar prayers need to be updated as well?

I therefore present my revised, COVID-era text for the iconic prayer of supplication and humility which is chanted by the cantor each year–the Hineni:

Here I stand, pixilated and buffering before You, streaming on behalf of your people Israel, even though my wifi is insufficient for the task. Therefore, as I stand frozen before you because my internet connection is unstable, I beseech you—the CEO of Zoom, the CEO of Facebook, and the CEO of Microsoft—I plead for help as I livestream my prayers for those I represent and who have entrusted me with the shul’s Zoom login credentials.

Do not judge them for my poor video quality, nor charge them because of my personal search history. Let there…

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Social Distanced but Spiritually Close

To remember

  • moving farther & farther apart from one another > notion of distancing – social or physical – = embedded itself into every facet of our lives.

 

  • minyan – in empty sanctuary > first truly tactile experience in synagogue over entire duration of our social distancing.
  • Jewish religion sending message of comfort & consolation. > It’s OK – we got this.
  •  second paragraph of the Shema = metaphor for our relationship with nature + the environment.
  • nature = quixotic + capricious
  • It may be time to take a fresh look at the ancient ritual of tefillin.

Cantor Matt Axelrod

Over the last whatever number of months (I can’t even remember what day it is), we have been moving farther and farther apart from one another. The notion of distancing–social or physical–has embedded itself into every facet of our lives.

It’s hard to imagine that I haven’t actually shaken anyone’s hand since March. I haven’t seen over 95% of my congregation in person. When I’m out running, I have to interrupt being able to get “in the zone” as I remember to steer around other walkers and runners. If I’m out shopping, I reflexively recoil anytime I feel another person getting too close. I can’t even watch TV shows or movies now without looking at the scenes and thinking that people are standing way too close to each other.

The other day as I was preparing to lead minyan–in my empty sanctuary, standing at my podium (and I mean my

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Filed under Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Religious affairs