Echoes of Elul, Day 15: The Sounds of Service

By Norm Rosen

6:30pm Friday evening on the TBS patio outside the living room: Deep dive into Shabbat evening services. The day is seasonably hot, but kindly shadows have overtaken, bringing balmy comfort. The week has been long, the days longer, and everything seemed demanding, and oh so hectic. My eyes have a life of their own and are shutting down, scheming for rest. Little did they know that not only does the world have many lives, but also a sense of humor. Even as my eyelids drifted down hiding the world of sight, no time is lost as another world takes its place—the world of sound.

Sounds—Unignorable, sometimes familiar, sometimes not.

Sounds of friends, our congregational family praying, responding and singing. Sounds that are essential and active.
And there was more.

Sounds—Wonderful music led by Cantor Reinwald, pleasing and inspiring—bringing out the beauty of Sabbath evening. Sound and music go to their own special part of the brain, which seems like a good plan. Somehow it doesn’t fly to mix music with the work week.
But there was more.

Sounds—Words of wisdom, spirit and prayer from Rabbi Lipper. Words to hope on. Words to heal on. Words to grow on. Words that always seem to make sense.
But is there more? A sound is missing.

I waited, and then, finally, there it was: Young voices calling to each other, laughing—children playing on the grass. Now the service was proper. To me, the wonderful, spontaneous, unplannable sounds of children at services are essential—I love and look forward to their “distraction”. Services are not balanced without them.

And now, the Sounds of Service were complete.

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