Immediately after Shabbat ends tomorrow, I will be flying with a group of congregants to Israel. We will spend next Shabbat in Jerusalem, a long distance – both physically and spiritually – from the Shabbat with which I began my summer, in the Sephardic synagogue in Marrakech, Morocco. The congregation we’ll join for prayer next week is Har El synagogue, the very first Reform congregation in Israel, founded in 1958. Just like American liberal Judaism, progressive synagogues in Israel are changing quite a bit. When I first went to Har El in 1982, the musical accompaniment was a harp! It was very angelic, but felt a little odd. Today it is largely guitar, and many of the melodies will be familiar to our TBA members.
It is customary to offer a public blessing to anyone traveling to the land of Israel, and we will be doing this at both our Reform and Conservative services this weekend. Please join us tonight at 8:00 p.m. and/or tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. for reinvigorating Shabbat worship, and to bid a “n’siya tova” – safe journey” to our travelers.