Yom Kippur Groupies

by Brian on October 7, 2005

in Only in Israel

(This article first appeared on the This Normal Life website in
2003 and has been a reader favorite. I’m re-posting it now as we head
towards Yom Kippur 2005. May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.)

When we moved to Israel eleven years ago, we were met with all kinds of
changes – schools, work, food. And as October approached, there was an
additional question: where we would pray for High Holyday services?

When we lived in North America, this wasn’t such a big deal: there were
only a few options in our community and, in any case, we were already
members of lovely congregation.

In Israel, however – and in Jerusalem in particular – there are
literally thousands of options, from the tiny to the toney. So on the
High Holydays, we found ourselves shul-hopping for a few years before
discovering a place so unique it has developed its own fan club.

Amiqa D’Bira
– dubbed the “Leader Minyan” for brothers Avraham and
Zelig Leader who founded it (it has nothing to do with the congregation
being “leaders,” so now you know) – the service is heavily inspired by
the music and teachings of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach.

The minyan meets only for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and then once a
month during the year on the Shabbat prior to Rosh Hodesh – the
beginning of the new month.

But that’s more than enough to keep our spiritual batteries fully charged.

Amiqa D’Bira is the kind of place you either love or hate. The growing
number of “Carlebach” minyans around the world are famous for their
spirited singing and dancing, but this one takes things to an extreme.
Shabbat services start at 8:00 AM and rarely end before 2:30 or 3:00
PM. An extended Kiddush with more than a little schnapps doesn’t hurt,

(On Yom Kippur, the service starts at 6:30 AM and doesn’t end until a good 12 hours later…without a break…oy!)

Those who who’ve never experienced the intimate, sweaty joy that this
kind of over-the-top davening (praying) brings are quick to deride its
“unholy” length, rolling their eyes judgmentally and commenting how
they like their prayer short and to the point.

To each his own. We love it.

While the minyan is always a blast, it especially rocks on the High
Holidays when Ebn Leader, son of founder Zelig, returns home to lead the services.

Ebn, who now lives in Boston where he directs the Bet Midrash program at Hebrew College,  has developed a style that is all his own. A Rabbi, musician and Talmud
scholar, he scores the service like a rock opera, bringing the music at
times to crescendo, dipping down to melodic introspection, rocking out
with an infectious beat, and finally soaring with a repeating wordless
chorus on a par with the best of Genesis in its 1970s Peter Gabriel

Arms flailing, dancing at the bima, he mixes Israeli pop tunes,
snatches of reggae, classic folk (Greensleeves is a favorite), Sefardi
nigunim, the best of Carlebach of course, and urban rap (his hip hop
adaptation of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” during a previous year’s Rosh
Hashana services is missing only the scratching on an old ‘45).

There’s no need for a choir or organ; Ebn is a one man rhythm section,
banging on the table, slamming two plastic chairs together, and
generally leading the congregation in a vigorous workout of
hand-clapping (think “boot camp”-style aerobics for the soul).

There are those who say Ebn is too over the top. That he is more
self-aware than selfless. I say he is Yom Kippur’s first true rock star
and we are his groupies.

We are awed when he enters the room, breathless with anticipation as
his deep baritone belts out Kol Nidre, and high on life during the
frenetic, arms-bonded dancing at the end of every Kaddish.

When I was growing up, I imagined that prayer must necessarily be
composed of somber wailing and shuckling, and that Yom Kippur was the
saddest day of the year. At Jerusalem’s “Leader Minyan,” I discovered
how wrong I was.

Yom Kippur is the happiest, rockin-est, dancin-est holiday on the
Jewish calendar. And I know a shul-full of pre, post, and wanna-be
hippies who’ll gladly testify to that!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Anonymous February 14, 2006 at 8:21 pm

What do you mean? Please tell me more.

Please don't delete my comments! Maximum 5 such comments at your blog!
Of course, the casinos are the big draw in the Entertainment Capital of the World.
Popular Types of Poker Chips Novel to Screenplay: The Challenges of Adaptation Some basic steps when adapting a novel to the screenplay form.
I how do you deal texas hold em


managed to stay even for an hour was a huge hit and the second by Xow Xet You Stack Texas Hold Mut Poker a way, a third is virtual casino action at home or in the office with great how do you deal texas hold em poker those good players who want to make the quantum How Perform You Deal Texas Hold Em Poker jump to excellent.
Be sure to have a look at the Prestige Casino Elegant gaming environment One of my favorites and one not to be missed The Orchid Casino Have a look and see why.
I was thinking about: Poker books Tuesday, 09 2005 EDT Contributed by: keithofclubs Xhe Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King I have just finished reading this book, and I ripped through it in very short order.
Winning big, at the first

online poker

casino on the Internet.
Video poker free play Poker Silver Strip poker game for pc That was a crazy game of poker Game pc poker Playboy poker strip Best online casino and gambling site Casino gambling game Best online casino gambling Card gambling Casino online gambling game Football online gambling Gambling Links Contact Us Free game online pool table Poker cards Buffalo bill hotel and casino info pokersilver Video poker free play Strict laws constantly were issued against card.
I have been playing online


for just under a year and have had plenty of ups and downs.
Since 1996, over 8, 000, 000 people have experienced Casino On Net's Exciting Gaming Action, making us the Leading Online Casino.
Tournament Chips Tournament chips are not the same as other poker chips, because they have no cash value.
How to Get Started playing Texas Holdem Poker Online Clove's Poker Column Rank of Hands Pre-Flop Odds Outs and Odds Poker Lingo Rules Home Page MAC Users BEST

Online poker room

s Cash Games Single Table Tournaments Multi Table Tournaments Starting Hands Table Position Drawing Hand Odds Intangibles How to get Started Cell Phone Mobile Poker Become a Poker Affiliate L i n Site Map Online Texas Holdem How to Get Started This is a lot easier then you might think.
Personally speaking, take a look at the paper called 10 best free casino games and live gambling online game, for extra data about the topic.
site – free strip poker download Video Strip Poker PC free download by Xorquemada Xames e-vision.
If you have been waiting for a good excuse to start playing online poker, this is the best time.
Max out your first time deposit bonuses.
A023-273 Click image to preview Pan shot of the bingo hall full players at the tables.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: