Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged
Sing in the "Season of Awe"!

Congregation Beth Sholom,
The Kitchen, Kehillah San Francisco, and Congregation Anshey Sfard
co-present a rollicking musical exploration of the traditional Selichot liturgy.


September 16, 2017
9 – 10 p.m.,
Special "Heart Opening" Havdalah
   w/ Moshav (for young adults)
10 – 11:30 p.m.,
Broken Prayer & Its Repair: A Communal Selichot
   Beit Midrash
On The Prayerful Songbook of
   Leonard Cohen
11:30 p.m. – 1 a.m.,
Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

At 9 p.m., we invite young Jewish singles, couples, and friends to join us for scotch and a rousing musical Havdalah with Yehuda Solomon (frontman of the popular Isareli-American band, Moshav), Nahman Solomon, and our community leaders.

At 10 p.m., all ages are invited to join us for Broken Prayer & Its Repair, a deep dive into the songwriting of the late, great Leonard Cohen (z"l) and its Selichot significance.

Then, at 11:30 p.m., we’ll open our hearts, dance, and prepare for the work of redeeming our world in 5778! After the incredible success of last year's Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged, we're super psyched to again raise our voices together. Yehuda, Nahman, Hazzan Avyatar Alfassi, Rabbi Glazer, and other friends will lead us in the joyous communal sing-along experience, one that features appearances by many special guests – musicians, singers, and rabbis – it’s a neo-Carlebach kumzitz meets The Last Waltz mash-up! Singing and moving together with communal leaders and singers from CBS, Kehillah San Francisco, The Kitchen, and Congregation Anshey Sfard, we’ll rediscover the power of the Selichot, our tradition’s beautiful and meaningful penitential piyyut (Jewish liturgical poems).

All parts of this special evening are free, but pre-registration is required. Please register below!

Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound

AvivaChernickShaliach tzibbur (prayer leader), musician, and teacher Aviva Chernick returns again to CBS to lead Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound, a special, two-part service occurring on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur.

Renew Our Days is a prayer lab, a non-halachic service (e.g., there is no Torah service) inspired by traditional liturgy, but not bound to it. The service continues to evolve from last year's initial iteration; it will move a bit further from a traditional structure, letting go of more of the text and incorporating more contemplative and embodied practice.

Highlighting selected passages and prayers, Aviva will guide participants on a journey, an opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual substance of Jewish prayer and the High Holy Days. "With curiosity and an openness to discover the experience of prayer anew," Aviva says, "so much is possible."

Join us in song, prayer, and reflection as we experience
the "Days of Awe" in a fresh and inspiring way.

Renew Our Days is open to all CBS High Holy Day ticket holders, but space is limited and preregistration is required (even if you have already purchased your general High Holy Day tickets). Please plan to join us promptly at 10 a.m. The service will end at approximately 1 p.m. (During the Yom Kippur service, Yizkor will occur around noon.)

For a little taste of the prayer lab's vibe, we invite you to listen to Aviva’s lovely interpretation of Chadeish Yameinu.

[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/02-Chadesh-Yameinu-Turn-Your-Face-to-the-Sun.mp3"][/audio]
Service Details
Renew Our Days: Rosh Hashanah Unbound |  September 21, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Gronowski Family Chapel
Renew Our Days: Yom Kippur Unbound (w/ Yizkor) |    September 30, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Gronowski Family Chapel

___________
RENEW OUR DAYS WORKSHOP
Many of the Renew Our Days service melodies will be easy to sing, but new to service participants. Because Aviva wants to maximize the experience of all who join the special High Holy Days prayer lab, she is offering an optional Renew Our Days Workshop on Sunday, September 17, 4:15 – 5:45 p.m., on the Eva Gunther Plaza (just outside of the Sanctuary). In the event of rain, the workshop will take place in the Gronowski Family Chapel. Please join CBS congregants and friends as we reconnect with or get to know Aviva and become comfortable with the service melodies before the new year. (When you register for the services, you will automatically be registered for this workshop.)

Even before the workshop in late September, service participants can begin acquainting themselves with some of the Renew Our Days melodies. Please enjoy these simple recordings – sing along and let them warm you up for what is to come. (Just click on the melody names to listen.)

NEWER MELODIES FOR THE MORNING SERVICE:
1. Tishrei Niggun, by Nava Tehilah – (Or download music file)
2. Carlebach Niggun, by Shlomo Carlebach – (Or download music file)
3. Modah Ani, by Rabbi Shefa Gold – (Or download music file)
4. Elohai Neshama – (Or download music file)
5. Baruch Sheamar, by Rabbi Shefa Gold – (Or download music file)
6. Nishmat Kol Chai, by Joey Weisenberg – (Or download music file)
7. Ahava, by Aviva Chernick – (Or download music file)
8. Adonai S'fatai – (Or download music file)
9. Hayom, by Aviva Chernick – (Or download music file)

FAMILIAR MELODIES FOR THE HIGH HOLY DAYS:
10. Zochreynu
11. Michalkel Chayim – (Or download music file)
12. B'rosh Hashanah – (Or download music file)
13. U'teshuvah U'tefilah U'tzedakah – (Or download music file)
14. Avinu Malkeinu – (Or download music file)

Renew Our Days is supported by an anonymous grant.

Shabbat Bimah Dialogue

HLPOn Shabbat, May 20, from 11 – 11:45 a.m., please join us for a special bimah dialogue featuring Rabbi Glazer in conversation with Dr. Marc Dollinger (Richard and Rhoda Goldman Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Social Responsibility, Department of Jewish Studies, San Francisco State University).

The title of their conversation is Jubilee Anniversary Reflections On The House Of Love & Prayer And The Future of Conscious Communities: On The History & Future Of Neo-Hasidism In The Bay Area.


As the Summer of Love was emerging in the San Francisco streets, The House of Love and Prayer (HLP) was founded in 1967 at 347 Arguello Avenue. As a Jewish incubator, it fused neo-Hasidic Judaism with the prevailing counter-cultural trends of the 1960s and 1970s.

HLP was created by Aryeh Coopersmith, Dovid Deen, and other disciples of Lubavitch emissaries Rabbis Shlomo Carlebach and Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. Jewish baby boomers from HLP become known as neo-Hasidic Hippies, finding a place that was open to their love of traditional-counter cultural Judaism. HLP was an open space for communal living, offering a free hostel to visitors, with some simply participating in activities and events while others were living there. It served as an incubator inspiring all to experiment Jewishly with religious practice, dress, ritual garments, music, and food by fusing the best of Jewish tradition with counter cultural tastes and practices.

This HLP jubilee (50 year anniversary), it is high time to critically analyze the “HLP moment” as one of the first Jewish incubators of neo-Hasidism. What was it about this HLP moment and place in time that continues to resonate? What lessons have been learned from HLP at this jubilee juncture in terms of building vibrant, conscious communities in a neo-Hasidic vein?

Join local expert on Jewish American History, Dr. Marc Dollinger in conversation with Rabbi Glazer (CBS).

Dance The Pain Away

DancingHasidsIt's easy for us to shirk our Jewish responsibility to wrestle with the more challenging and anachronistic aspects of our tradition. In a few weeks, when we read Parashat Vayikra, we'll reconsider the ancient Israelites' sacrificial practices, which seem quite alien to us today. Yet the psychological distance imposed by time and social change doesn't relieve us of our duty to parse and digest the rituals.

Evan Wolkenstein, Director of Experiential Education for American Jewish World Service (and a teacher at the Jewish Community High School of the Bay), writes,

"Nearly 2000 years have passed since the last turtledove’s blood was wrung against the altar walls, and we are still forced to acknowledge that, interesting as they may be, these verses are relevant almost exclusively through creative hermeneutics. We may look to Vayikra for inspiration. We may find its details somewhat disturbing. But no matter our potential discomfort, one thing is certain for all of us—we would never remove these passages from the Torah."

We would never remove the passages because, as Wolkenstein puts it, "none of us is better off by forgetting any part of the past." To the contrary, the past should inform and improve our present; earnest discourse about (and with) the past makes us better Jews and better human beings. Such soul-searching, though, is often uncomfortable, and few Jews outside of our clergy make a regular habit of it. Those who do and who elect to share their ruminations are too often criticized or ignored.

Case in point: every year, a handful of Jewish writers point out that the Purim story has a "a dark and dangerous underside." Invariably, these voices are lambasted and labelled "self-hating" or "naive." In fact, it is the reactionary critics, those who refuse to reside in the uneasy and uncertain space of Purim, who do a grave disservice to our tradition and, importantly, to our future. Lest this seem like a partisan broadside, however, the Jews at the other end of the spectrum – those who refuse to observe or celebrate Purim because they've written it off as a politically incorrect tale of "bloody revenge" (and even attempted genocide by Jews, not of Jews) – are no less misguided.

Two years ago, writing in The Forward, religious studies professor Shaul Magid, allowed as how "Purim is essentially about the celebration of violence." But he doesn't stop there. He doesn't suggest that Purim should wither on the vine or be reduced to a Disney-fied carnival, an intellectually impotent combo of Halloween and Mardi Gras. Instead, he suggests a way forward by sharing a story. How very Jewish of him.

"If you want to approach Purim with a spirit of open-mindedness this year, I’ve got an idea of how to do it. There is a story about blotting out Amalek told in the name of the Hasidic master Zvi Elimelekh of Dinov (1783-1841). I heard the story from Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (z"l). During the Purim feast, Zvi Elimelekh suddenly stopped the festivities and said, 'Saddle the horses and get the carriages, it is time to blot out Amalek.' His Hasidim were petrified. 'What could the master mean?' Being obedient disciples, they got in their carriages and followed their rebbe. He rode into town to a local inn where the Polish peasants (the Amalekites of his day?) were engaged in their own drunken bash.

The rebbe and his disciples entered the inn. When the peasants saw them, they stopped dancing. The music stopped. Everyone circled around the rebbe and the Jews as they walked to the center of the dance floor. The room was silent. The rebbe looked at one of the peasants and put out his hand with his palm to the ceiling. Silence. The peasants looked at one another. Suddenly one of them stepped forward and took the rebbe’s hand. They slowly started dancing. The musicians began playing. In a matter of minutes, all the Hasidim and peasants were dancing furiously with one another.

You want to blot out Amalek? [...] Reach out your hand. And dance. That is how you blot out Amalek. Crazy? Ask Zvi Elimelekh of Dinov. That is what it means to take Purim seriously.
"

Put another way by David Bowie (z"l),

"Let's dance -- put on your red shoes and dance the blues
[...]
Let's sway -- you could look into my eyes
Let's sway under the moonlight,
this serious moonlight.
"

This year, maybe, we can dance with one another (and with our tradition), warts, disagreements, and all.

Shul School Continues – More Thinking Matters

ThinkingMattersWe're excited to share the winter and spring line-up for our popular Thinking Matters: Modern Jewish Philosophy mini-course series.

Below, we provide an overview of February – May 2017 Thinking Matters course offerings. (The full 2016–17 mini-course overview can be accessed by clicking here.)


Join our impressive line-up of local star teachers and CBS experts to wrestle with today's urgent questions of Jewish philosophy. Can there be such a thing as a Jewish philosophy, or a philosophy of Judaism? How does Judaism relate to the broader question of the relationship of ethics, religion, and theology to philosophy? (For an introduction to Jewish modern thought and philosophy, we recommend Steven Katz's essay, "Eliezar Berkovits & Modern Jewish Philosophy.")

All classes meet on Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 8 p.m. All sessions are FREE for CBS members, but students are encouraged to make a donation to CBS. For nonmembers, each single session is $12. Alternatively, nonmembers can purchase an 8-session pack for $84, or the full semester subscription for $180.


Facebook_ArendtOrigins Of Totalitarianism From Hannah Arendt To Today
February 9, March 9, April 6, & April 27
(4 sessions w/ Dr. Michael Loebs)


Course Description: Join Dr. Michael Loebs for a re-evaluation of the famed German Jewish political philosopher, Hannah Arendt. This four-session mini-course will involve much interactive discussion about the diverse themes in Arendt’s political philosophy, including authority, legitimacy, popular sovereignty, and its moral implications throughout the world and at home.

Readings: from The Portable Hannah Arendt, "Perplexities of Rights of Man" and "Little Rock"
Session 1: Click here to download
Session 2: Click here to download
Session 3: Click here to download
Session 4: Click here to download


REGISTER BELOW



Thinking Through Halakhic Mind/Man In Soloveitchik
February 16 & TBD (due to postponement)
(2 sessions w/ Dr. Adrian Mirvish)


Course Description: What exactly is the status of Jewish law or Halacha? Is it a set of sometimes arcane laws that have simply, historically, over time, evolved to stand as commandments? Is this set of laws obeyed on a subjective basis, because of what Jews over the ages have come to feel and experience - both communally and personally - or is the Halacha rather in some sense truly objective, and if so how exactly does it affect our lives? Another question that can be asked in connection with these positions: is there is any viable connection or relation between objective and subjective poles of religious experience?

Soloveitchik deals with all these issues, setting up a fascinating dialectic between objective and subjective forms of experience plus the phenomenon of revelation. We will explore these topics in the two classes dealing with his thought.

Readings: The Lonely Man of Faith, by Joseph Soloveitchik

REGISTER BELOW




Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

HardlyStrictlySelichotUnplugged_PosterHardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged
A Communal Soul-singing Experience

Congregation Beth Sholom, the Mission Minyan, and the Kitchen co-present a communal Selichot experience like none other.

September 24, 2016
9 – 11 p.m.,
Fire on the Water short film screening & forum
11 – 11:30 p.m.,
Coffee, dessert, & schmooze
11:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.,
Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged

At 9 p.m., following a musical Havdalah with Yehuda Solomon and Duvid Swirsky of the Israeli-American folk-rock band, Moshav, we will stretch our spiritual and intellectual muscles with a screening of Rabbi Aubrey Glazer's short film, Fire on the Water. The 30-minute film uses a father-son fly fishing trip to grapple with divergent notions of sibling rivalry, parental love, trust, reconciliation, and sacrifice. This special screening will be followed by a panel discussion exploring the themes of the film as they relate to the spiritual journey of the Yamim Noraim, the Days of Awe – featuring many of our CBS High Holy Days spiritual leaders, including cantorial soloist Aviva Chernick, filmmaker Jonathan Crosby, and Rabbis Aubrey Glazer, Peretz Wolf-Prusan, Dorothy Richman.

Then, at 11:30 p.m., we’ll put those limber muscles to work as we usher in “the season of awe” with Hardly Strictly Selichot Unplugged. Yehuda and Duvid will lead us in a joyous communal sing-along experience that features appearances by many special guests – musicians, singers, and rabbis – it’s a neo-Carlebach kumzitz meets The Last Waltz mash-up! Singing and moving together with communal leaders and singers from CBS, the Mission Minyan, and the Kitchen, we’ll rediscover the power of the Selichot, our tradition’s beautiful and meaningful penitential piyyut (Jewish liturgical poems).

Both parts of this special evening are free, but pre-registration is required.
Please click through to register.

Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound

AvivaChernickShaliach tzibbur (prayer leader), musician, and teacher Aviva Chernick returns to CBS to lead Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound, a special, two-part prayer lab occurring on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur.

Renew Our Days is not halachic (e.g., there is no Torah service or sermon) – the service is based on traditional liturgy, but not bound to it. Highlighting selected passages and prayers, Aviva will guide participants on a journey, an opportunity to rediscover and reconnect with the spiritual, emotional, and intellectual substance of Jewish prayer and the High Holy Days. "So much of what we want and need is already in the liturgy," Aviva says, and it extends "an invitation to our spirits, voices, bodies, and minds."

Join us in song, prayer, and reflection as we experience
the "Days of Awe" in a fresh and inspiring way.

Renew Our Days is open to all CBS High Holy Day ticket holders, but space is limited and preregistration is required. Please plan to join us promptly at 10 a.m. The service will end at approximately 1 p.m. If you will be joining us, we ask that you R.S.V.P.: just click here and follow the registration instructions. (For a little taste of the prayer lab's vibe, we invite you to listen to Aviva’s lovely interpretation of Chadeish Yameinu.)

[audio mp3="http://bethsholomsf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/02-Chadesh-Yameinu-Turn-Your-Face-to-the-Sun.mp3"][/audio]
Renew Our Days is supported by two anonymous grants.

Service Details
Renew Our Days: Rosh Hashanah Unbound |  10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Gronowski Family Chapel
Renew Our Days: Yom Kippur Unbound |    10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Gronowski Family Chapel

REGISTER FOR RENEW OUR DAYS HERE!
___________
RENEW OUR DAYS WORKSHOP
Many of the Renew Our Days service melodies will be easy to sing, but new to service participants. Because Aviva wants to maximize the experience of all who join the special High Holy Days prayer lab, she is offering an optional Renew Our Days Workshop on Sunday, September 25, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., in the Gronowski Family Chapel. Please join CBS congregants and friends as we get to know Aviva and become comfortable with the service melodies before the new year. (When you register for the services, you will automatically be registered for this workshop.)

Even before the workshop in late September, service participants can begin acquainting themselves with some of the Renew Our Days melodies. Please enjoy these simple recordings – sing along and let them warm you up for what is to come. (Just click on the melody names to listen.)

NEWER MELODIES FOR THE MORNING SERVICE:
1. Binah Niggun, by Joey Weisenberg – (Or download music file)
2. Carlebach Niggun, by Shlomo Carlebach – (Or download music file)
3. Modah Ani, by Rabbi Shefa Gold – (Or download music file)
4. Elohai Neshama, by Rabbi Shefa Gold – (Or download music file)
5. Baruch Sheamar, by Rabbi Shefa Gold – (Or download music file)
6. Nishmat Kol Chai, by Joey Weisenberg – (Or download music file)
7. Hayom, by Aviva Chernick – (Or download music file)

FAMILIAR MELODIES FOR THE HIGH HOLY DAYS:
8. Zochreynu
9. Michalkel Chayim – (Or download music file)
10. B'rosh Hashanah – (Or download music file)
11. U'teshuvah U'tefilah U'tzedakah – (Or download music file)
12. Avinu Malkeinu – (Or download music file)
13. Ki Anu Amecha – (Or download music file)