Machzor Lev Tov for the High Holidays
Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur
Machzor Lev Tov - The Good Heart Machzor is the prayer book for the High Holidays that I prepared for the residents of Lions Gate. My goal in compiling this Machzor was to design a streamlined worship experience that reflected a traditional service in an accessible manner. For our residents, as for most Jews, the High Holidays is that time of the year in which they reconnect to the spiritual resources of the Jewish tradition.
The High Holidays play a central role in the contemporary Jewish experience. For many Jews, including the residents of Lions Gate, attendance at High Holidays services is their most significant synagogue experience of the year. The underlying theme of the High Holidays - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - is the challenging demand placed upon all of us to re-examine of place in the world and to use our tradition's highest values to redirect our thoughts, feelings and deeds. On the High Holidays we ask ourselves the basic questions: Who are we? From where did we come and to where are we going? What gives meaning to our lives? What provides direction in our lives? How are we able to take control of our lives? How do we connect to all those in our world - those we know and those we do not know; those we hold dear and those we do not; those close and those far away? How to we approach God, the articulation of our highest visions for all creation?
These are tough questions. Although they do not take away the joy and excitement of beginning a New Year with the possibility of being liberated from the burdens of our past, they do force us to consider the seriousness of the path ahead of us. It is my hope that Machzor Lev Tov can provide help in this central spiritual task.
Siddur Lev Tov
Siddur Lev Tov is a siddur, prayer book, for Shabbat and Festival morning services. I have been working on this siddur over 20 years. It developed out of the service booklets I prepared for the bat and bar mitzvah services for my children and the prayer resources I developed for the residents of the Jewish Geriatric Home in Cherry Hill, NJ, later to become Lions Gate CCRC in Voorhees, NJ, a neighboring community. Siddur Lev Tov has been the foundation for the various liturgical resources I developed over the last decade for Lions Gate CCRC .
This is a short, informal service for Kabbalat Shabbat- Welcoming the Shabbat. This is a non-traditional service that uses well-known prayers, contemporary readings and songs to begin our celebration of Shabbat - the Day of Rest.
Machzor Lev Tov for the Shalosh Regalim
Sukkot - Pesach - Shavuot
I prepared Machzor Lev Tov for the Shalosh Regalim for the residents of Lions Gate CCRC in 2012. It contains Evening and Morning services for Pesach, Shavuot, Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah. It is similar in style and format to Machzor Lev Tov for the High Holidays.
This Prayer Booklet for Tisha B'Av, the Commemoration of the Ninth Day of the Hebrew Month of Av, grew out of the service / program booklet I developed for Tisha B'Av program at Cejwin Camps in the late 1970's. It has been a work-in-progress since then. It is a contemporary re-framing of the Tisha B'Av service. Traditionally Tisha B'Av has been a fast day on which Jews commemorated the great tragedies of our history, most notably the destruction of the two Temples in Jerusalem - the first in 586 BCE by the Babylonians and the second in 70 CE by the Romans. Over time other sad and terrible events have been associated with the 9th of Av. For many in our days fasting no longer serves as a meaningful spiritual experience. Others who may wish to fast cannot do so for medical reasons. In our time the sadness of Tisha B'Av is tempered by the re-establishment of Jewish life and sovereignty tin the Land of ISrael. This service booklet attempts to honor the dark moments in our people's history as well acknowledge the triumph of Jewish survival and success in our days.
HANEIROT HALALU / These Special Candles is a short service for lighting the Chanukah candles for use at home or with a community. It containe a special short reading for each night of Chanukah as well as a short selection of well-known Chanukah songs.
Machzor Lev Tov for the High Holidays