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A Deep Exploration of the Saturday Morning Service

What does it mean to experience the Saturday morning service?  What if you don't know Hebrew or the prayers?  Was the service intentionally constructed by the Rabbis of blessed memory and if so, what's the blueprint?  What are the historical and halakhic bases for the different customs?  What should I be doing in my mind and heart while the service is happening?

All these questions and more are explained in Rabbi Caine's Guide to the Saturday Morning Service, which includes content for both introductory and advanced learners.  It can be found by clicking here, and may be used/reprinted with permission.  

A Deep Exploration of the High Holiday Services

The services of Rosh Hashanah and of Yom Kippur are the culmination of over a month of spiritual preparation, action, and exercise.  Books like Rabbi Alan Lew's This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared are helpful guides to taking this period seriously as a focus of personal and communal development. 

During the services themselves, we proceed rapidly though a succession of liturgical pieces, all part of an unfolding process that remains largely unexplained.  While the marginal notes of the Machzor Lev Shalem are invaluable, we are meant to be conducting personal prayer and introspective exercises during the service while the prayer leader is chanting.   

Here are some guides to these prayers and exercises prepared by Rabbi Caine:

Contemporary "Al Cheit" Introspective Exercise for our Own Errors
Contemporary "Al Cheit" Sins Againts Ourselves
Guide to the Signature High Holiday Prayers
Spiritual Exercises (Kavanot) to Do During and In Between Services
Readings to Foster Living the High Holiday Themes

Thu, May 23 2024 15 Iyyar 5784