DAY 759: Shabbat by the Sea — Creative Fun

July 29, 2014
By bethmordecai
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DAY 759: Shabbat by the Sea — Creative Fun

This is the first of a 3 part journal series previewing different aspects of this Friday night’s special Shabbat by the Sea — Family and Community Edition. The theme for this journal is: creativity.

Dear Hevreh,

One of the things I’ve enjoyed the most over the past few years is being able to creatively work on ways to engage our community together. Whether it’s a Cantorial Showcase, aUnique High Holiday Experience, or driving to people’s homes to wave the lulav and count the omer, we’ve run many unique programs that you won’t see in other places. Trying something new is exciting, but there is a certain amount of anxiety and angst that comes with trying something new — are we going to pull it off? will it have the desired effect? how will people react? Many of our offerings (though not all) have been successful and have been institutionalized in our calendar. Now they are simply part of what we do, with a formula of how to make them successful, a formula that leaves much of the angst and anxiety behind.

One of these kinds of creative, institutionalized events (which was created by  Rabbi Zalma) isShabbat by the Sea. The formula for running Shabbat by the Sea is pretty simple — have services outside in a beautiful setting and come back to shul for dinner. It’s a formula that works, a formula for success. Yet, like any program over time — like any tradition — it needs to be renewed now and again so that it does not become rote, so that it retains its zest. In other words, sometimes even the most established programs need a little creative angst and anxiety to renew the excitement.

That’s why we are altering this Friday’s Shabbat by the Sea plans — with dinner outsideprior to services (6:15 pm), a shortened family oriented service (7 pm), and ice cream, music and games for our community and the local Perth Amboy community (7:30 pm). We’re altering our plans to add a little creative anxiety, angst…and excitement that will refresh the spirit of Shabbat by the Sea (especially when we return to our traditional program on August 22nd).

Personally, I’m adding my own kind of anxiety and excitement to this special Shabbat by the Sea — for the first time in public I will be drumming as part of the musical experience that begins after ice cream (approximately 7:30 pm). I am certainly nervous and very anxious, but also extremely excited. It’s simply fun to try something new and to show off what I’ve been practicing this week. 

So let’s renew our tradition; let’s try something new and fun; let’s be creative together.

Kol Tuv,

Rabbi Ari Saks

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