In this pre-High Holidays episode, Bryan Schwartzman asks Rabbi Nathan Kamesar how he prepares to lead Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. They discuss ways people can the most out of the holidays, whether they go to synagogue or not. Although as a congregational rabbi, Kamesar does make a pitch for showing up in-person or virtually. He also discusses his own contemporary theology as it relates to the High Holidays and also addresses the existential dread many may be feeling from climate change, the perils facing democracy and so much more. More broadly, he offers a defense of Jewish prayer and speaks about how the traditional prayer structure can be meaningful today. And, father-to-father, Bryan asks for advice for young parents who might be struggling to find the time for serious reflection, let alone transcendence. The short answer: cut yourself some slack.
Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/miriammarglesandthehadarensemb
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- Read Rabbi Nathan Kamesar's Evolve essay, "Breaking Open: A Paradigm for Jewish Prayer"
- Explore Reconstructing Judaism's rich High Holiday resources
- Browse Ritualwell's original, curated High Holiday resources
- Related reading: Rabbi Michael Strassfeld's Evolve essay, "Why Is This Passover Seder Different From All Other Passover Seders?"