Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Yom Kippur Afterthoughts

By Storahtelling Musicians

Storah On The Road

How can we, as human beings and Jews (or non-Jews) who want to do good in the world - how can we live with the innate contradictions of our own humanity? We say this list of ways we have missed the mark; yet it's in our nature to be here again next year, reading the same list. One answer offered by a brave fellow: "Well maybe next year my own personal list will be smaller."

Personal/Communal/Political: What I love about Storahprayer is that we are not allowed off the hook. We are individuals, responsible for our own personal growth. We are also part of a community (even if "tempororary") and must acknowledge our role within the group - are we participators? Leaders? Spectators? All of the above at different times? Are we contributing to the overall good of the group? Finally, we are making political choices even if we don't phrase it that way - our love of iPods and fancy buildings (like WTC Bldg 7 with fancyelevators) are part of what creates unequal distribution of wealth in the world.

Yet still we sing a new Shehecheyanu! Still we belt out Avinu Malkeynu as if our life depended on it (for perhaps indeed, it does)! Still we have each other's backs. We, Storah musicians, watched each other intently for signals. We learned to communicate our needs as much as we could. When Amichai asked the group to get in groups of three as Bet Din before Kol Nidre, we did it too. When Amichai sobbed for the gates to open, we pushed harder into the music. Although we are not perfect, we achieved some moments of spiritual/musical perfection.

A sweet year for all of us!

- Chana Rothman

An amazing time...I know you all know that, but it must be said again and again. I found myself struggling at times with the performance aspect. That is to say, it was not easy at every moment to receive the blessings and inspiration, when my musician self was focusing on a missed note, a problem with the sound, etc. However, each musician at one time or another played something or did something or said something that brought me back to the place I needed to be. Thank you all.

I remember Kol Nidre night, Amichai said something like, "Each breath we take could be the last breath we take" (it was during the conversation that included the kayaking story). The moment he finished that statement, literally EVERYONE in the room took a deep breath in. The sentiment of that statement and the sound that resulted has stuck with me. Just one of many truly amazing moments.

Thank you all again, and I can't wait till we can do it again. (Shemini Atzeret, anyone?)

-Jeremy Brown

Yom Kippur was in a word - AWEsome.

I am blessed with the privilege of sharing these days with you and have learned so much not only about myself as a fellow human being but about you all and the incredible talents, compassion, kindness, and wisdom you all possess.

Amichai, you are truly one of the greats - as Naomi would say "The Real Deal"

I learn so much from you every time I'm part of a Storah service and am always deeply moved and profoundly affected by it for days. The energy in the room was beautiful and present and flowing always and that is in large part because of your spirit and open heart and commitment to the higher good in all of us.

-Katie Down

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