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October 5, 2015 | 22nd Tishrei 5776
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Kabbalat Shabbat


  1. Mar 2006 Digest 040

    My synagogue does a fairly full Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday night. We only tend to do the parts that we can sing. There are many people complaining about this part of the service.

  2. Mar 2006 Digest 041

    …among the "standard" ingredients for a service [are] opening prayers including a Welcome Sabbath hymn (typically either Lcha dodi, Shalom Aleichem Malachei haShoret, or The sun on the rooftops--English or Hebrew); Bar’chu, Sh’ma, V’ahavta, Mi Chamochah; T’filah; Aleinu; Mourners' Kaddish? Essentially all can be sung, except the Mourners' Kaddish.

    …[For people who complain, possibilities] would seem to include that they want to hear the cantor rather than each other; or that the singing is in Hebrew; or that they miss responsive reading or even solo reading by the rabbi. Mostly what they complain about is anything different from "what they're used to."…you might think about varying the style of Kabbalat Shabbat to accommodate those who don't like what you're doing now; or you might invite the complainers to come to a meeting of the Worship Committee and air their comments; or you might realize that to kvetch is human--and very Jewish; or you might reconcile yourself to the idea that if people don't want to come to services, one excuse is as good as another.

    1100 units

  3. Mar 2006 Digest 041

    …I [would guess that] Warren [is] referring not to the entire Friday evening service, but to the actual Kabbalat Shabbat section, and…specifically to a custom that is making its way into Reform worship from the Carlebach munyanim and Bnai Jeshurun in Manhattan, to actually sing through all seven psalms (or most of them) as well as L’cha Dodi. (This is not traditional Ashkenazi custom, BTW). I personally find that this can get a bit tedious if it is not balanced (which is to say, edited) judiciously. (I have attended, for example, a Carlebach minyan at Yakar in Jerusalem which goes on and on and on and just feels endless--and it's just Kabbalat Shabbat, folks!). The intention is great, but the performance can have the opposite effect if proper judgment is not exercised. Sometimes more is less, and less can be more! That is a difficult lesson to learn for enthusiastic liturgists.


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