"The Left Side of the Page" Rabbi Judy Chessin

Our prayer book, MishkahT’filah, is fondly nicknamed “Gates of Heavy,” a riff on the name of our former prayer book Gates of Prayer. It is a remarkable and extensive siddur which offers each worshiper choice. The page on the right offers the Hebrew prayer and a gender sensitive translation for each service rubric. On the left side of the page are modern poetic renditions on the theme of each prayer.

   This siddur allows us to choose our own worship adventure, so to speak.

   Jewish liturgical artist Noah Aronson composed music for many of the creative readings in Mishkan T’filah aptly naming his album “The Left Side of the Page.” Temple Beth Or couldn’t be more delighted to host Noah, who will perform along with the Dayton Community Chorale and our own Temple choir as we become acquainted with his creative liturgy. Noah is coming to Dayton for an Artist in Residence weekend of worship and study, prayer and play made possible by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton Innovation Grants. Friday night, February 22, 7 pm, Temple Beth Or will welcome the entire Dayton Jewish community for a Left Side of the Page Erev Shabbat Service.

   One theme which Noah interweaves throughout the service is among our favorites. His melody to “Am I Awake, Barchu” will become a touch point throughout the service to remind us to be mindful in our prayers. Noah will also weave his own stories and experiences into the fabric of our worship experience. 

   Since we need to nourish our bodies, as well as our souls, Temple Beth Or will then host a festive and expansive Oneg Shabbat following the service.  We are seeking volunteers to bake, provide snacks, set up and clean up. If you’d like to help, contact Eva Clair, Paula Gessiness, or the Temple office. 

   In Hebrew the  word KAVOD, ּ ,כָּבוֹדmeans both “heavy” as well as “honor” and “glory.”  It will be our honor and privilege to share our heavv  prayer book and our synagogue with the greater Dayton Jewish community for the glory of the Sabbath and the fostering of community. It will likewise be an adventure to share our pulpit not only with Noah Aronson but also with our combined Dayton Jewish Chorale, under the direction of Hazzan Jenna Greenberg with our own Temple choir led by Mary Rogers.  

   For the rest of Noah’s appearances during the weekend, please look inside this issue of the Light.