Not the Same
In any other year, I would already be feeling the pressure.
Ten weeks until the start of the Jewish New Year.
Ten weeks to prepare pages and pages of liturgy.
Ten weeks to build stamina and vocal strength.
Ten weeks to craft sermons.
Each of the ten weeks with outlined tasks.
And with every passing week, an impending sense of responsilibity. Responsibility for creating a meaningful and introspective religious experience.
At times, a crushing, suffocating responsibility.
Everything starts to sound as if it is sermon-worthy.
That is how a rabbi views the world. At least, that has been my experience.
One hour of vocalizing. Daily. Minimum.
Talking through the sung liturgy until it feels familiar.
Singing through the sung liturgy. Again. And again.
Singing through the read liturgy in order to find each passage’s rhythm.
Talking through the read liturgy. Again. And again.
Selection of pulpit attire.
Sending tallis and robe to the dry-cleaners. (Outsourced to BossGiraffe)
Surprised? Surprised that there is a worldy, less-elevated aspect to my preparation? I would take special care with my appearance if visiting the Oval Office or Buckingham Palace. Kal v’chomer, would I do any less when coming into God’s Presence on the holiest of days?
The final thirty days include daily meditations.
And then…in the blink of an eye…the Days of Awe.
Our annual opportunity to meet God on the way to ourselves.
Our annual opportunity to meet ourselves on the way to God.
Not this year.
How different summertide feels without the pulsating tempo to define it.
Its absence is palpable.
Should I feel relief?
Should I relish the calm?
Enjoy the languid cadences of these weeks?
Because I don’t yet feel those things.
I keep thinking that I am behind in my High Holy Day prep.
nightmares dreams I have each year during these ten weeks.
That the Holy Days arrive…and I am woefully unprepared.
I keep wondering…
Will I feel Your Presence this year in the pews?
Remembe(RED) is a memoir meme. This week’s prompt was to write about a time that rhythm, or a lack thereof, played a role in your life. And don’t use the word “rhythm.” Well under the 600 word limit, an exploration of how I am acclimating to life off the pulpit. As always, constructive criticism is welcomed!