I am not God’s gift to photography, but all my working life I’ve used my camera to supplement my writing. Today was a great chance to use those basic shooting skills. As part of the communications committee at Or Shalom, my Jewish spiritual community, I’m helping develop a series of promotional posters we’re calling “Jewish With Feeling.”
This afternoon, I photographed our Rabbi Hannah Dresner, in the foreground of the photo above, leading several members of the congregation in singing a niggun, a wordless melody. The idea was to capture the joyful spirit of our Shabbat prayer services where almost everything is sung.
I remember reading a primer on Judaism that said in North America very few Jews know the meaning of the Hebrew words they’re singing but find spiritual connection simply by singing them in community.
What helps make Or Shalom services compelling for me is that they are largely led by the members. I love that spirit of participation and the variety it brings to Shabbat mornings. The next time I’m leading will be Feb. 13.
This coming Saturday will be a mini-Shabbaton with Or Shalom’s co-founders Rabbis Daniel and Hanna Tiferet Siegel. They’re both teaching the next day at Limmud Vancouver, and Hanna Tiferet will join us that evening to sing at Chanting & Chocolate.
Also this afternoon, I photographed our Bnei Mitzvah class who are young students preparing for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Today’s theme was the environment. While I was there, the students were learning about bees and looked very engaged in the topic.
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A moving experience
In a follow-up to yesterday’s post about my new sofa, I’d like to suggest MCP Services for your moving needs. Amir and Murad did a great job for a minimal cost. They also do cleaning and painting. Contact Amir through their Craigslist ad.