You may not know this, but for the past three weeks I have been doing some heavy duty mountaineering. It has been exhilarating for me to make this climb upthis unfamiliar summit. For sure others have made this journey before me and have laid down markers and signs for me to follow. However, I have had to take it slow and watch my step, pay attention to my surroundings, and allow my own spirit to guide me.It has been exhilarating to journey through the new High Holy Day machzor, Mishkan HaNefesh.
From Rosh Hashanah evening through the end of Yom Kippur, I have read every page and I have been moved by what I have encountered. There are translations of prayers that breathe new life into ancient words. There are poems that amplify the meaning of each service. There are commentaries that offer extraordinary insights. There are changes in the liturgy that awakened me to the power of the Days of Awe. I am excited that our congregation will be utilizing Mishkan HaNefesh for the first time this coming New Year. I could share with you in detail what will occur duringour High Holy Day services.
However, I think doing so would be counter-productive.For each of you deserve the opportunity to encounter Mishkan HaNefesh in your own way during our worship together Rosh Hashanah and YomKippur. There may be parts of Mishkan HaNefesh you really like – and elements of it you do not. And that’s fine. No one should expect that all of us will experience Mishkan HaNefesh in the same way. But I believe that there is great value in our new machzor and that bynot sharing too much about what Mishkan HaNefesh contains, your experience during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will be an invigorating journey as you travel through the Days of Awe