9/11 In the season of Introspection

This morning was a bright dry cloudless Tuesday. Just like the one eleven years ago. Like the Tuesday of 11 years ago it is just before Rosh Ha Shanah. Before Passover we obsessively clean our homes. Duriong the time before the High Holidays be are supposed to be doing  Cheshbon nefesh soul math or an accounting of our souls, and actions.

Starting the month before Rosh ha Shanah we blow shofar at the end of morning services. I was asked to blow shofar at my synagogue this year. So usually mid morning I take out my shofar and run through the tones in order.

I empty my lungs into that  shofar. Sometimes the tone I produce is high , clear and bright. Other times the sound i produce is lower is tone. Occasionally, and unfortunately I produce a spitty muffled sound.  I love how my heart feels after i blow shofar. I'm not even talking about a spiritual feeling but the pure physical sensation of blowing shofar just feels good.

During this season we say  slichot  penitential prayers. Those services usually take place the half hour before morning services. if you want to experience slichot virtually, you can play this video, actually it's really only an audio. Benzion Shenker who is leading services for the Bobov Chassidic community in Brooklyn is simply wonderful. If you want to hear authentic Easten European style services done at a truly fine level, listen. I was listenign earlier and singing along with full voice. I don't know if my son appreciated it. But it really felt like I was at slichot services.
If you don't have the 35 minutes to listen to the entire video, you can listen to the following piyut, liturgical poem.Adon Ha slichot.  I'm also getting ready for the new year in more prosaic ways. My cabbage is cooling so I can peel leaves to make stuffed cabbage.


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