As you might have seen, but definitely heard about at our High Holiday services, TRT is in the midst of many worship experiments. We've been very successful with Rock Shabbat, and believe Rock Hashanah is something to be repeated as well. But these once per month services are not the only changes we are making.
We have guest speakers coming; we are planning a service under the stars around our new fire pit. We will have services featuring our choir. We will have worship honoring our new members and our 18-year members, worship installing our board members and worship delving into Torah in a new way with our guests from Torah Turnings. We even plan on running a Dinner Service, where worship, discussion and Torah will be intertwined with dinner. In fact, we have so many things scheduled we are having trouble finding dates for other new ideas or guests as they come along.
If you were moved by something during the holidays, if you found something with passion and joy, I hope you will check out what we are doing. Not every service is a rock service, not every service is “traditional.” Some will be a mix. There will be amazing things to learn and new things to find passion over as we study new subjects and learn from new guests. I truly hope you will check out our calendar to see when we are doing different things, and find your joy in coming!
So why are we doing this? We believe there is much to learn about ourselves, connecting with God and creating community by trying different things. When I introduce a new melody, you could sit back thinking, that’s the wrong tune; or you could understand the prayer completely differently than you had before. You might connect with community because you are all learning together as well. TRT, you have been amazing at accepting new melodies and trying new kinds of music at worship. But we believe there is more to learn, bringing in new teachers (like our upcoming discussion with Pastor Mike Riley, or our service in March with Torah Turnings). This can open our ears to new ideas and a new way of understanding old texts. It opens us up to thinking about religion, d’var torah and sermon differently to hear how others do it.
Our services honoring our members, or our students, our teachers… these services are an opportunity to congratulate our members on what they learn, what they teach, what they contribute to making us a TRT family. Pirkei Avot (teachings of our ancestors) tells us, “Who is wise? One who learns from everyone.” Our members and students have something to teach all of us, and so we honor them for doing so.
We believe Shabbat is an important part of life. Taking even a few moments to stop, be with family, be with God, be with Judaism, can change your life, and so we offer a variety of different opportunities for you to do so with TRT through communal worship. We hope that every worship is filled with passion and joy, with honor and wisdom and with connection, and we hope to see you there.
Cantor Joanna Alexander