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November 5, 2013 By bethmordecai no comments.
*Note: This message is a little longer than usual
When I experience the need for some musical inspiration I often turn to Spotify, a popular online music sharing service. As I’m sure many of us have, there are a number of different playlists on my Spotify account. However, there is one particular playlist that seems to be on repeat whenever I need some help thinking or writing about a topic (like I’m doing right now). That playlist is simply called “White Out Friday Night.”
Last winter we ran a new Friday night program in which community members were encouraged to wear white as a symbol of the snow on the ground and the purity and holiness of Shabbat. More than simply following a longstanding tradition of wearing white for Shabbat, “White Out Friday Night” was an opportunity to access the deep spiritual reservoirs flowing through each of our souls. Using songs, stories, and meditations we unpacked the power of spiritual worship in a unique way. It was an opportunity to go “higher and higher,” just like the song of the same name on my White Out Friday night playlist.
That’s why I keep returning to that particular playlist every time I need some musical inspiration for my writing. The tunes often (though not always) transport me to a place where I feel my soul encased by the warmth of God’s beautiful light. They do so not just because they are spiritually beautiful (though they are), but also because they send me back to the moments (like the one one described below) where we seemed to be spiritually transported as a community:
This past Friday night our community gathered in a circle in the chapel for our third White Out Friday Night service. We began to sing a popular niggun (i.e. wordless melody) that we’ve been practicing since the summer. We eased into the tune slowly and softly as a couple more people arrived in the chapel. Feeling more comfortable with the melody we started to sing a little stronger, and a few more people showed up. As we kept on going, sensing the spiritual energy of this powerful melody, more and more people showed up. Soon, our chapel turned from an intimate gathering of ten people, to a bursting crowd of twenty-seven! I have to admit, it was a pretty amazing sight. Though I know the people who came did not intend on this, it almost seemed as if they were being drawn into our community by the piercing melody of our niggun (DAY 233: A “Temple” of Creativity).
So join us wearing your best “white” this Friday night at 6:30 pm as we seek to transport ourselves again to that beautiful spiritual place where we feel embraced by God’s light.
Rabbi Ari Saks
P.S. OH! Annnnnndddd…there’s kiddush to follow sponsored by Anita and Bob Krentar so please join us for that as well!