It seems that the High Holy Day season is almost here. The temperatures seem to be a bit cooler this week, suggesting that fall is not too far off. Temple is bustling with the sounds of preparation: choir, shofar, and pieces of sermons. Our book racks are also filled with our brand new machzorim (High Holy Day prayerbooks).Many of us have fond memories of Gates of Repentance, the red High Holy Day prayerbook we have used for many years, and the Union Prayer Book before that. Gates of Repentance was published in 1978, with language and theological ideas resonant of that moment in time. Mishkan HaNefesh, our new, two-volume prayerbook, was published in 2015. Since its publication, we have been incorporating English selections and ideas from these books in our worship, either on the slides or in the words spoken by our clergy team. This practice hastened during the pandemic years since many of us were accessing services remotely and not holding books in our hands. We are so excited to be able to pray with these beautiful, thought-provoking books in our hands this year for the first time.
We are so excited for Mishkan HaNefesh because it:
- Is a timely, meaningful liturgy for everyone; those who have been engaged in our community for a long time and those new to Jewish spirituality and practice.
Embraces different ideas of God through the rich liturgical voices of the Jewish past and the aspirations of our people today.
Provides a fully transliterated liturgy, making services more accessible to people of all levels of Hebrew skill.
Includes study texts, rich commentary, and essays from leading Jewish thinkers with thoughtful background from our Jewish tradition.
Presents contemporary poetry and alternative readings.
- Offers new translations that capture the beauty of the Hebrew.
We cannot wait for you to experience this machzor and for it to elevate your High Holy Days experience.
In honor of the new machzor, we have a special opportunity this year. In addition to our traditional Lizkor v’Lichvod (remember and honor) booklet, you can honor, appreciate, and remember loved ones by purchasing a pair of nameplates for our new machzorim. Inclusion in this year’s Lizkor v’Lichvod booklet is $18 per name; for an additional $54, your loved ones’ names will be added to nameplates in a set of Mishkan HaNefesh machzorim (one volume for Rosh HaShanah, one volume for Yom Kippur).
Thank you in advance for supporting our congregation’s liturgical needs by honoring and remembering your loved ones in a set of machzorim and the Lizkor v’Lichvod booklet.
Cantor Mary Rebecca Thomas