Church Lady: JCMI prepares for Days of Awe while Rabbi vacations

JCMI prepares for Days of Awe while Rabbi vacations

Kathleen Tuttle/Eagle Correspondent (3)
The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island’s Cantorial Soloist Hari Jacobsen leads the synagogues music.

Photo by Kathleen G. Tuttle

Kathleen Tuttle/Eagle Correspondent (3) The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island’s Cantorial Soloist Hari Jacobsen leads the synagogues music.

The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island and San Marco Catholic Church are collecting children’s underwear for the Catholic Charities 17th Annual Undie Sunday Campaign

Photo by Kathleen G. Tuttle

The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island and San Marco Catholic Church are collecting children’s underwear for the Catholic Charities 17th Annual Undie Sunday Campaign

The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island’s Board President Roger Blau helps lead the Friday evening worship services from mid June to mid August. 
 /Kathleen Tuttle Special to the Eagle

Photo by Kathleen G. Tuttle

The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island’s Board President Roger Blau helps lead the Friday evening worship services from mid June to mid August. /Kathleen Tuttle Special to the Eagle

While the Rabbi is away the congregation continues to pray.

The Jewish Congregation of Marco Island’s Rabbi Edward Maline leaves for summer vacation mid June and returns mid August just in time to gear up for the Days of Awe, the 10-day period that begins with Rosh Hashana, Jewish New Year, Sept. 5 and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, Sept. 16.

The Friday evening Shabbat services continue as the congregation savors the sweet serenity of summer. The services are lead by Cantorial Soloist Hari Jacobsen and JCMI’s Board President Roger Blau.

They follow their standard liturgy, Jacobsen prays text set to music, and each week, a different member shares their thoughts and insights on the weekly torah portion.

The torah is the first five chapters of the Bible and the prescribed reading is known as the Parasha. The readings conclude with the last chapter of Deuteronomy or “Devarim” in Hebrew which means “things” or “words.” In Deuteronomy, Moses speaks to the children of Isreal and recounts from the first four books of the torah.

“We miss our Rabbi but we carry on,” said Blau in a phone interview. “Within Judaism there is no one or definitive interpretation of torah. Our faith teaches that we tease out the meaning. We call it torah learning and it is dynamic.”

Each time the material is explored interesting and compelling insights are discovered: how it applies to morality, the law and today. Although the Rabbi is their spiritual leader, he doesn’t have to be present to hold worship services.

“We have a vacation Bible school right here at JCMI,” wrote Blau for his column in JCMI’s newsletter. “And it’s not for kids. It’s for seasoned citizens who love JCMI and love torah.”

In addition to coleading the services Blau has presented two commentaries. Former Board President and current board member Ralph Segell has also shared two commentaries. The men enjoy the intimacy the summer service allows and welcome people who have a different point of view. Segall especially likes the congregation’s close interaction in the ceremonial aspects during the summer services.

“A deeper understanding of torah is the essence here. We do what we used to do years ago before we had the benefits of professionals,” Segall said in a phone interview. “It is importance to get involved and not just be listeners. Our religion does not require us to delegate the responsibility for prayer for someone else; we can do it all ourselves.”

JCMI board member Hanalie Treiber was also a summertime presenter. For her, Judaism is a set of rules for learning.

“Teach your children, apply the stories to your life today,” she said in a phone interview.

This is the first time in many years that Jacobsen has sung an entire Friday night service a cappella. She grew up singing without the aid of instruments and all orthodox and many conservative congregations do not use musical instruments as they were no longer used after the destruction of the second Temple in Jerusalem.

The congregation looks forward to the Rabbi’s educated insights and professional commentary when he returns on Aug. 19 to prepare for the Days of Awe — the High Holy Days.

For Blau, the Days of Awe are a time of renewal, spiritual cleansing and self-analysis. It is a time to reflect on one’s merits and failings.

“You can’t ask God for forgiveness for your sins if you don’t resolve them first with your fellow man,” he said.

Segall sees the days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur as a time of reflection and renewal. A time to stop for a moment, take stock in oneself to see where one can do better.

It’s also a time of rededication of self, a time to examine strengths and weaknesses and how to do better next year, serving and strengthening the congregation.

Jacobsen loves the Days of Awe, as they are so purposed, so focused.

“We need to focus on doing the best we can, when you mess up say you are sorry and do whatever you can to rectify it and what you genuinely can’t fix, let go,” she said in a phone interview. She has been practicing the deeply moving spiritual music for the Days of Awe since July.

JCMI ushers in the Days of Awe with a 7 p.m., Aug. 31 turkey dinner followed by the Selichot Service. Selichot marks the beginning of the preparation of the mind, heart and spirit to fully experience the coming High Holy Days.

If you go:

High Holy Days

Jewish Congregation of Marco Island, 991 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island

Selichot 7 p.m., Aug. 31 dinner followed by service

Erev Rosh Hashana 8 p.m., Sept. 4

Rosh Hashana 10 a.m., Sept. 5

Tashlich 10:30 a.m., Sept. 6 meet at JCMI; move to beach

Cemetery Memorial Service, 1 p.m., Sept. 8, Jewish Memorial Gardens

Yom Kippur — Kol Nidre, 5:30 p.m. dinner at Da’ Vinci’s followed by the 8 p.m. service, Sept. 13

Yom Kippur 10 a.m. service; 3:30 p.m. Yizkor, Ne’ilah; 6 p.m. break the fast dinner, Sept. 14

Dinners need to be reserved and prepaid. Tickets for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are $100 and may be picked up at the synagogue office beginning Aug. 19. Nonmembers are welcome.

Information: Call 239-642-0800 or go to marcojcmi.com.

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Comments » 1

MIOCENE (Inactive) writes:

Here is the true story of Moses:

Moses was a power hungry megalomaniac who would do ANYTHING to maintain control over his people in order to maintain loyality and unity in his little nomadic empire.

Yet no one would LISTEN to Moses, as the people wanted to be free to go to places like Sodom and Gomorrah (Reno and Vegas; just like people want to do today. Nothing has changed.

So Moses went up on top of a mountain, made up some RULES OF ORDER; came back down, and told his people that GOD gave him the rules; and if they didn’t obey the rules; GOD (not Moses) would punish them; no different than what the clergy are still doing today. Nothing has changed.

Here, Moses assumed the position of the dreaded “Middle Management”.

Hence, the peasants quivered under their blankets, and every time there was a thunderstorm, earthquake, flood or sandstorm; it was punishment for some guy sneaking into his neighbor’s tent to have sex.

Centuries later comes along a charismatic religious reformer named Jesus Christ; but that's another story.

However, the names changed but the concept stayed the same; -control of people; by their leaders; through fear, guilt, and the politics of myth.

Centuries later we have a code of beliefs which is complex enough to justify the existence of clergy who claim to know the word of god; even though it is really just the word of ancient megalomaniacs like Joshua and Moses.

Today the tradition is carried on as each Hasidic Community has its own Moses;
a dictator; who uses superstition as a tool to maintain Control over his people; just as Moses did hundreds of years earlier.

Fast forward to the present and we have Clerics, Popes and Ministers still doing the same thing; as they dangle the carrot of eternal salvation; keeping the crowds grabbing at the carrot with one hand, while writing a check with the other.

Christianity, Islam, and Judaism: Mythological Superstition rooted in, exaggeration, self delusion and lies with each religion valid only within its own scripture; as the validity of their divine origins all cancel each other out to a net value of zero.

No Christ rose from the dead. No angel spoke to a desert Arab; and no god told Joshua to kill everyone in Jericho perpetrating the first recorded incident of ethnic cleansing since when our Cro Magnon ancestors wiped out their Neanderthal neighbors.

MIOCENE

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