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The Century Ends: NFTY Music of the 90s



by Cantor Rosalie Boxt Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong decade. I have often wondered what it would have been like to be a songleader with my mentors, my friends, and my “heroes” in the 70s. Yet, as I reflect back on the time when I was a young songleader, during […]

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A Special Worship Service for Jews with Disabilities and Their Families



by Nancy Crown When I was called to meet with a member of my synagogue’s Congregation-Based Community Organizing Committee, I almost declined.  I was asked to think about what the temple could do that it was not already doing. My main reaction was to reflect on the many opportunities for learning, worship, and community that […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

The Music of N’ilah – Part Two



By Cantor Barbara R. Finn Last week, in my discussion of the beginnings of the N’ilah service, I reflected upon the contemplative nature of the concluding service for Yom Kippur. The music of the actual conclusion imparts additional urgency in our pleas for forgiveness as the “gates are closing.” There are many interpretations of when […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

The Music of N’ilah – Part One



By Cantor Barbara R. Finn Yom Kippur is bookended by music and liturgy that speak to us on an emotional level.  We often cannot explain it; it is simple yet powerfully spiritual, reaching into our souls with a fervor that would leave us empty were we to miss those elements of the service. In her […]

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Worship Without Music?!



By Jerry Kaye Can you imagine a worship service these days without a cantor, a song leader, or even a band? There is nowhere in the liberal Jewish community where music isn’t an integral and heartening part of worship. Today, Jewish music is readily available on CDs and MP3s, and even on YouTube, which hosts […]

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Apply for Taste of Judaism™ Advertising Grants!



The URJ is now accepting applications for 2014-2015 Taste of Judaism™ Advertising Grants. Since 1994, A Taste of Judaism: Are You Curious?™ has engaged nearly 100,000 individuals searching for an easy access point to liberal Jewish life. Classes are advertised as “open to all, Jewish or not.” We want you to consider making Taste™ a […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

The Gates are Closing, and God’s Hand is Outstretched



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg The N’ilah service on late Yom Kippur afternoon is notable for its image of the Gates of Repentance closing their doors.  At this late and hungry hour, for the final time during the Day of Atonement, we are summoned to repentance.  The fact that many Sages argue we can actually delay […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

N’ilah: The Concluding Service on Yom Kippur



By Rabbi Richard Sarason Yom Kippur is the only day in the traditional Jewish liturgical year to have five services: in addition to the usual four shared with Shabbatot, Festivals, and Rosh Hashanah (evening, morning, Musaf, and afternoon1), Yom Kippur has a concluding service called N’ilah (literally, “locking”). This name refers to the time of […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

The Music of Yizkor



By Cantor Penny Kessler Eighteen years ago, when I first led Yizkor on Yom Kippur at my current synagogue, I admit to having been startled by an exodus from the pews. Our congregation recites Yizkor immediately after the Torah service, before the scrolls are returned to the ark and right before musaf (a supplemental service […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

Yizkor



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg When I was growing up, the Yom Kippur afternoon Yizkor (remembrance) service was a very big deal.  In fact, at Temple B’nai Jehudah in Kansas City, the N’ilah (concluding) service would be held before Yizkor, except that, as we were about to hear the final shofar blast, we would then turn […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

Yom Kippur Yizkor Service



By Rabbi Richard Sarason On Yom Kippur, Yizkor memorial prayers are recited for our deceased relatives as well as for the martyrs of the Jewish people (in our own day, particularly for those who died in the Holocaust). This is an old custom, going back to the time of the Crusades in the Rhineland (11th-12th centuries). […]

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Amidst 5,000 Worshipers, a Sanctuary of Peace



It’s not often that a rabbi gets to sit back off the bimah and lean into inspiring prayer. The constant responsibility for creating T’filah for others, partnering with a cantor and other shlichei tzibur (prayer leaders), draws our attention everywhere but our own spiritual selves. And then there are moments like this morning’s shacharit  service […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

Mincha for the New Machzor: Good Habits Replacing Bad Habits



By Edwin Goldberg The afternoon service – a tradition not usually observed in Reform Judaism – is an important part of Yom Kippur observance for Reform Jews. Not only does it help fill the time between the morning and break-the-fast; it also offers yet another opportunity for reflection and repentance. The editors of the upcoming machzor, […]

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10 Years of Ten Minutes of Torah

Eileh Ezkerah: These I Will Remember



By Cantor Hayley Kobilinsky The Eileh Ezkerah with which most Reform Jews are currently familiar does not bring to mind familiar melodies.  While thematically, Eileh Ezkerah fits well with Yom Kippur, it does not hark to the sounds of the High Holy Day melodies we typically quote.  What, then, is to be done with its […]

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