Shabbat Greetings from Rabbi Holtz – February 1

Rabbi David HoltzI had the great privilege two weeks ago to deliver the sermon at the community Martin Luther King Jr. Day service held each year at Foster Memorial Church here in Tarrytown.  It was a remarkable experience, in no small part because the congregational response to every part of the service in this AME Zion congregation is so totally different than our own.  The level of freedom that worshippers feel to call out responses to prayer, songs and especially to the sermon is exhilarating. (I heard lots of “amens” and at least one “preach it, rabbi!”)  Not only is the immediate feedback reinforcing, it turns the service into a much more interactive, participatory experience.  Worshippers feel empowered, and they leave the sanctuary feeling that the service has worked for them, has impacted them is a very tangible way.  And that, after all, is one of the main goals of prayer.  The closest thing we currently have to this is our Family Service, which always draws a more spirited participation, especially in the music.  Come and join us tonight at 7:00, bring your energy, and feel free to shout out your joy.  You’ll be amazed at how good it feels!

Author: Melissa