Yom Kipur at Hadar: Part I–Machzorim, pamphlets and handouts. Oh my.

There’s a lot to say about Yom Kipur at Hadar this year. Intro here. Part II here. Part III here.

Hadar borrows copies of the Silverman Machzor (two generations of Conservative machzorim ago)  from JTS. Almost everything they need is in it. They also hand out a supplement pamphlet that has several piyutim in it that Silverman lacks. Which is not to say that Silverman is lacking that regard, but that the piyutim for YK leader’s repetition of the Amidah vary widely. At Hadar, the selection seems to have more to do with which piytuim we have really raucous tunes for.

There is an element of tightly controlled chaos–which, as we’ve discussed before here at The Shuckle, makes me feel very comfortable. It reaches a fever pitch during Ne’ilah. Ne’ilah traditionally has seven repetitions of the 13 Attributes section–you know, the part that has “Adonai, Adonai, el rachum v’chanun, etc) in it. As Rabbi Elie Kaunfer put it yesterday, “In what we can only assume is a printer’s error, Silverman only has one.” So what do they do at Hadar? They print it on page 7 of the supplement. Every time we come to a point when it has to be recited, the clod of people puttering about by the amud start waving the supplement around wildly. It’s fairly hysterical ridiculous awesome.

For the Avodah service–the elaborate re-enactment of what the High Priest used to do on YK back in the days of The Temple–they pass out another handout. This one is a copy of the Avodah service from ArtScroll. During an excellent d’var torah late in the day, the woman giving the d’var–whose name is now escaping me–said, “There is a funny piece of commentary in the ArtScroll machzor”–interrupted by some teeheehee-ing, she smiled–“Well, funny to me, anyway. I don’t think they meant it that way.” There was a lot of laughing at that. It’s basically a perfect statement of what I think of ArtScroll. Anyway, so they hand out this copy of the Avodah service from ArtScroll, which has a lot of those unintentionally funny comments in it, including–my favorite:

As interpreted by the Sages, the Torah requires the Kohen Gadol to place the incense on the burning coals after entering the Holy of Holies. During the Second Temple era, the heretical Sadducean sect denies the authority of the Oral Torah, and succedded in influencing some Kohanim Gedolim to place the incense on the coals before entering the Holy of Holies

Scandal!

More on machzorim in use at Hadar: Most people just used the Silverman machzorim provided. Dana–previously mentioned here–who really jumped in off the deep end this Yom Kipur by coming to Hadar with me, used Machzor Eit Ratzon–reviewed here along with Mahzor Lev Shalem–because she needed transliterations. I brought Lev Shalem, which I loved using at the Chavurah on Rosh Hashanah. I spotted eight others using MLS, including Rabbi Nigel Savage, founder of Hazon, and his significant other; the guy who read haftarah in shacharit; and some other people. They were also giving out little MLS bookmark ad things. Obviously I took one. It’s great.

There were piyutim included in Silverman that didn’t have to be in thesupplement. But many of them were not in Machzor Lev Shalem so I ended up having to keep a Silverman handy to use during the leader’s repetition of the Amidah. I mentioned all of this to someone during the afternoon break and this guy Tim said that what’s interesting is that Harlow, the Conservative machzor that followed Silver and preceded Lev Shalem, has even less material. So Silverman has many piyutim, Harlow has few and Lev Shalem is on a middle ground. Very interesting.

The most common non-Silverman machzor was the blue ArtScroll one, which maybe as many as ten percent of the community had brought with them. There were also a number of people using the white Israeli Koren machzor and a handful using Machzor Rinat Yisrael, the Israeli chief rabbinate’s official machzor.

About these ads

20 responses to “Yom Kipur at Hadar: Part I–Machzorim, pamphlets and handouts. Oh my.

  1. Pingback: Yom Kipur at Hadar: Part II–How I got spotted by a fan from across a big mass of Jews | The Reform Shuckle

  2. Pingback: Yom Kipur at Hadar: Part III–Annotating one’s siddur as a spiritual practice and why I had to wear a kipah | The Reform Shuckle

  3. It was good to see you this weekend! A few minor comments:

    Hadar borrows copies of the Silverman Machzor (two generations of Conservative machzorim ago) from JTS.

    I think these mahzorim actually belong to Hadar, and were donated from various sources — many of them have names of random synagogues (which have presumably upgraded to more recent mahzorim) on the inside cover. But they are physically stored in the JTS building during the year, and Hadar holds Rosh Hashanah services there.

    Ne’ilah traditionally has seven repetitions of the 13 Attributes section–you know, the part that has “Adonai, Adonai, el rachum v’chanun, etc) in it. As Rabbi Elie Kaunfer put it yesterday, “In what we can only assume is a printer’s error, Silverman only has one.”

    Also, shacharit, musaf, and minchah traditionally (at least in nusach Ashkenaz) have none, but Hadar sticks with Silverman for those services. Thus the number of repetitions of the 13 attributes in the 5 services of Yom Kippur is:
    Trad. nusach Ashkenaz: 4, 0, 0, 0, 7
    Silverman: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1
    Hadar: 4, 1, 1, 1, 7

    For the Avodah service–the elaborate re-enactment of what the High Priest used to do on YK back in the days of The Temple–they pass out another handout. This one is a copy of the Avodah service from ArtScroll.

    Specifically, it’s the Artscroll nusach Sefard version. Hadar uses this because the nusach Ashkenaz version of the Avodah service (which appears in Silverman) is in very obscure poetic medieval Hebrew, while the nusach Sefard version (which is completely different, except for several core elements in common) is in much easier-to-understand language (for people who understand Hebrew in general, anyway).

    There were piyutim included in Silverman that didn’t have to be in the supplement.

    The reasons these are in there:
    Mi she-Anah: Hadar uses an egalitarian version which mentions both male and female biblical figures; the version in Silverman has almost exclusively male names (Esther is the exception).
    Rachamana: Hadar sings a different version from what appears in Silverman, with the clauses in a different order.
    V’ye’etayu: This is laid out differently to reflect the way it is sung at Hadar, with the congregational response after each line.

    Were there others that didn’t need to be there?

    • Repetitions of 13 attributes:
      That’s fascinating. It’s like a whole new minhag springing forth because of a lot of bizarre situations and decisions about them. Very interesting. Do we know why Silverman has several in odd places?

      Sephardic Avodah:
      Interesting.

      Mi she-Anah:
      This brings up a whole other bag of worms. I’ve heard Elie go on about all kinds of logical backflips you can do to make it okay to be gender egal and still say only Avot w/no Imahot. Then, one of the leaders on YK goes off inserting them into Avot. And now they’re going out of their way to do this egal-ish Mi she-Anah. And BTW, MLS has yet another Mi she-Anah that has women.

      Rachamana:
      Why?

      • Mi she-Anah:
        This brings up a whole other bag of worms. I’ve heard Elie go on about all kinds of logical backflips you can do to make it okay to be gender egal and still say only Avot w/no Imahot. Then, one of the leaders on YK goes off inserting them into Avot. And now they’re going out of their way to do this egal-ish Mi she-Anah. And BTW, MLS has yet another Mi she-Anah that has women.

        All the leaders on YK were operating within the Hadar policy, which is that the leader may choose to include or exclude imahot in the body of the berachah, but must say only “magein Avraham” in the chatimah. I don’t agree with it, but that’s their policy. So none of the leaders were going rogue.

        And I think you could make a reasonably consistent case for adding more people (of whatever gender) to Mi she-Anah, but doing a male-only Avot (even though that’s not my own practice). One argument that has been given in support of the imahot version permitted at Hadar is that the first part of the berachah is about all of our common ancestors but that Abraham is unique and should stand alone in the chatimah. Similarly, one could make whatever case Elie makes for having the 3 avot without imahot in the Amidah, but that case wouldn’t necessarily apply to Mi she-Anah, which is a long list of people who have been answered by God, and seems in no way intended to be an exclusive list — the more, the merrier. (That’s if we’re discussing this on the level of substantive content. The case is even easier on a formalistic legal level, since the Amidah is a required prayer, and some will argue that one must say a specific set of words to fulfill one’s obligation, while no one will make that case for Mi She-Anah, which is a piyyut and clearly not required.)

        Rachamana:
        Why?

        I think it’s just that there are different texts for this, and the melody that Hadar uses was written for a different one from what Silverman has. Nothing too profound.

        • “I don’t agree with it.”

          Why?

          Also, I have now examined Harlow as well and found that it (the Conservative machzor between Silverman and MLS) has a total of seven repetitions across all the services of YK, from Kol Nidrei to Ne’ilah. 2 in KN, 1 in shach., 1 in mus., 1 in min. and 2 in ne’ilah.

          • “I don’t agree with it.”

            Why?

            I conclude the berachah with “magein Avraham v’ezrat Sarah” when I’m praying to myself or when I’m leading in a place that permits or requires this; I wish I could when leading at Hadar too.

            Based on other examples, I don’t think Hadar’s policies on liturgical options for the sha”tz are particularly consistent or coherent. It would be one thing to say “We have a fixed text of the liturgy that the leader must use”, but it’s hard to make the case for disallowing “v’al kol yosh’vei teiveil” in the kaddish but allowing the leader to lead musaf from Sim Shalom.

            • They DISALLOW (!) yoshvei teivel? I don’t actually know the origin of that, but let’s say for a minute that it’s Reform. Either way, it’s an adjustment to the text of a prayer, not to the chatimah. I had assumed until now that the issue was about chatimot.

  4. As Rabbi Elie Kaunfer put it yesterday, “In what we can only assume is a printer’s error, Silverman only has one.”

    I don’t think it’s a printer’s error — I think it’s a difference in minhag (custom). As far as I can tell, Silverman copied the order of Neilah (1 formal recitation with אל מלך, one at the end of a piyyut) from the Adler mahzor (which, I think, was copied and modified from the Rodelheim). He didn’t directly copy mincha (Adler’s has at least 2 recitations of אל מלך in mincha, Silverman’s has 1 and a lot fewer piyyutim).

  5. As interpreted by the Sages, the Torah requires the Kohen Gadol to place the incense on the burning coals after entering the Holy of Holies. During the Second Temple era, the heretical Sadducean sect denies the authority of the Oral Torah, and succedded in influencing some Kohanim Gedolim to place the incense on the coals before entering the Holy of Holies

    Ah, this is a famous passage in the Talmud: Yoma 19b. Here is the passage in English (I have adapted the Soncino translation):

    HE TURNED ASIDE AND WEPT AND THEY TURNED ASIDE AND WEPT. He turned aside and wept because they suspected him of being a Sadducee, and they turned aside and wept, for R. Joshua b. Levi said: Whosoever suspects good folks will suffer [for it] on his own body. Why was all this [solemn adjuration] necessary? Lest he arrange the incense outside and thus bring it in, in the manner of the Sadducees.

    Our Rabbis taught: There was a Sadducee who had arranged the incense without, and then brought it inside [to the Holy of Holies]. As he left he was exceedingly glad.

    On his coming out his father met him and said to him: “My son, although we are Sadducees, we are afraid of the Pharisees.”

    He replied: “All my life was I aggrieved because of this scriptural verse: ‘For I appear in the cloud upon the ark-cover.’ (Vayikra 16:2) I would say: ‘When shall the opportunity come to my hand so that I might fulfil it.’ [The Sadducees interpreted the passage: For I appear in the cloud, as if it said: For I am to be seen only with the cloud (of the incense) upon the ark-cover. The whole verse, according to them is to mean: Let him not come into the holy place except with the cloud (of incense), for only thus, with the cloud, am I to be seen on the ark-cover. Hence the Sadducees’ effort to enter the Holy of Holies with the fire pan asmoke, prepared and lit outside.] Now that such opportunity has come to my hand, should I not have fulfilled it?”

    It is reported that it took only a few days until he died and was thrown on the dungheap and worms came forth from his nose.

    Some say: “He was smitten as he came out [of the Holy of Holies].” For R. Hiyya taught: “Some sort of a noise was heard in the Temple Court, for an angel had come and struck him down on his face [to the ground] and his brethren the priests came in and they found the trace as of a calf’s foot on his shoulder, [The high priest, in coming out of the Holy of Holies, walked backward so as not to turn his back on the Holy of Holies (Yoma 52b). When he reached the threshold and his back first emerged behind the curtain, the angel who was outside the curtain struck him on his back between the shoulders and threw him down, making him fall forward into the Holy of Holies with his face to the ground. There he lay till his brother priests came and threw him out]

    as it is written: ‘And their feet were straight feet, and the sole of their feet was like the sole of a calf’s foot’.” [Ezekiel 1:7. That trace is the ‘evidence’ that an angel had struck him, kicked him with his foot. The ‘four living creatures’ are identified with angels.]

    The Talmud makes a big deal about this — in fact, at Yoma 53a, it repeats the point.

    So, of course, since this tefillah is being offered in lieu of the service, it is important to recount it correctly — especially since the penalty is being kicked to death by an angel.

    Now, while this may still seem a bit absurd, I actually think this passage has something to say about kavannah in prayer — about literally believing that you are appearing before the King — and about implementing in action what you say in words. It fits in exactly, in my mind, with the Haftarah 57:14-58:14, where Isaiah rails against those who make great show of fasting and piety, but who do not actually change their behavior and bring God into their lives.

    Now, I wouldn’t have phrased the footnote the way Artscroll did at all. But I do think it is a valid point that prayer must be sincere before God — which means treating the Holy of Holies (which we envision with our tefillah) as something real and deserving of respect.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s