Cantor David Reinwald
Hinenu. Here we are at a turning point in history and in a year that has challenged us, and maybe even commanded us to think differently. And, yet, it has been an opportunity for us to reinvent ourselves and our perspectives on what is most important and valued in our lives and in the world around us.
It feels that nothing in our life experience has prepared us for this, and nothing in my cantorial training or professional journey ever made me anticipate the decisions we have had to wisely think about, as they have led up to this year’s High Holy Days. No choirs? No congregants in the pews? We have never had to imagine what it would be like to be unable to gather during our most sacred time of the year. While these may seem like obstacles, I have seen this as an opportunity to engage creatively to find solutions. If we have been good at one thing at Temple Beth Sholom, it has always been to think outside the lines and open the door to new possibilities, which may well provide fulfilling answers to our situation.
So, this year, instead of coming to the temple, we will bring the temple to your homes, where you will make a sanctuary for yourselves. You will experience these holidays in a different, but wholly authentic way. You will walk away, carrying with you moments of inspiration and enlightenment. There will be familiar music and you will share this experience with many familiar faces. We will also embrace the opportunity to explore some new paths that reach beyond and toward new horizons.
In these unique times, the best we can do is trust the feelings deep within our hearts and souls and follow the path that ultimately will be the right one. I am hopeful as I look toward our new year of 5781 and believe that in hindsight, we will see how these moments changed us and made us stronger and more in tune with what we really need.
To each of you and your families, I wish you a Shanah Tovah.
This article is taken from Our Voices Newsletter, Issue #7: High Holy Days 2020. Read the newsletter in full.