Temple Beth El

Notes from Hazzan

December 2018 – Zot Hanukkah

As I wrote in the last edition of Kol, the Jewish calendar has particular ebb and flow to it.  Each season is defined by the Jewish holidays within. Passover begins the liturgical year, providing us with a combination of rituals that occur both in synagogue and home.  The rabbis replaced the centrality of the Temple Continue Reading »

September 2019

I am amazed by the many people who have enriched our lives during the past year at Temple Beth El. Synagogues really are like families, with a complex system of relationships that ebb and ow and, hopefully, ourish into a marvelous ecosystem. The Jewish calendar has an ebb and ow as well. We repeat the Continue Reading »

September/October 2018

There is a debate in the Talmud regarding why the repetition of the Amidah was introduced.  The Talmud teaches that reciting the amidah is incumbent on every member of the congregation, and that the recitation of the communal prayer leader would fulfill the obligations of those who were not familiar with the prayers.  Rabban Gamliel, Continue Reading »

July/August 2018

One of the unexpected highlights of my graduate training at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music was the study of sonata form.  As a young voice major, far more versed in Paul Simon’s Graceland than I was in Mozart’s 30th Symphony, I was, to say the least, not always overjoyed with my coursework in “Graduate Theory and Analysis.” Continue Reading »

May/June 2018

…from the archives… Temple Beth El / September 1995 / Elul-Tishri 5756 “As I write this, my first message to you, I am extremely pleased with my having been selected to serve as your Hazzan.  I am most appreciative of your warmth in welcoming me to Rochester. I was most impressed with the search committee, under Continue Reading »

March/April 2018

I would like to call your attention to what I know will be a TBE highlight!  I hope that you will hold the Shabbat/Weekend of April 20th-22nd and join us for this special musical event. As you know, each and every year for the past twenty years, we have had the distinct honor to host Continue Reading »

January/February 2018

Now that we have transitioned to the triennial format of Torah reading in which we read a third of the weekly portion on Shabbat morning, I thought it would be appropriate to review what is involved in preparing a particular Torah reading. The obvious advantage of the triennial format is that the individual aliyot are Continue Reading »

October to December 2017

As we prepare to gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, allow me to focus on the eighteenth blessing in the Amidah, which begins, “Modim Anachnu Lach”, “We proclaim that You are Adonai, our God and God of our ancestors throughout all time …We thank You for our lives that are in Your hand…for Continue Reading »

July to September 2017

Dear Friends; I sincerely hope that you are enjoying a wonderful summer, and are finding the time to do those things that have had to wait. Most of us set goals for this “down time”, which most often take the form of reading, traveling, exercising, or learning a new skill.  It is our expectation that Continue Reading »

April to June 2017

I am excited to invite you to a very special Friday Night Live on January 13th at which time we will welcome “Gathering Time” in a unique Shabbat Service featuring the music of Peter, Paul & Mary!  Now that I have your attention, let me tell you a bit more!  The following description of the Continue Reading »