Thursday, November 29, 2007

Man-Centered, Youth-Led, Worship-Rebellion

Tikkun Leil Shabbat, an independent Jewish prayer group which is also called a minyan, has gained popularity along with many other minyanims across the country. Mainly springing up in urban areas the minyanim differ from synagogue services due to several distinctions: they are led by lay persons, not rabbis. They are inclusive in that they allow for women to participate as well as gays in the readings and singing and prayer and singing is done all throughout to keep things lively and interesting. Minyanim are not extensions of the synagogues, but replacements for most who attend.

A certain danger is inherently present anytime one strays from the norm due to it not having what I want included in it. See below:

Ms. Kaplan said seeing her peers lead worship made her faith seem more accessible. “My friends who I play football with and have beers with are leading service here. I feel like if I wanted to lead a service, I could, too.”

Rebecca Israel said: “If Judaism is central to my morality, then its practices needed to reflect the morality that I learned from it. In religious practices that limit women’s participation, Orthodox shuls were not living up to that equality that is important to me.”

“It has been a spiritual hit for our families,” Ms. Brockman said. “We were all looking to go back to Jewish summer camp — the ease of community, this feeling of ‘go ahead and try it, try a reading’ — and we found it.”

You can read more here.

Some questions:
-Is worship more about what I want or more about what God demands bibilically speaking?
-Should my wants be met over and above scriptural guidelines?
-What is the purpose of worship?
-Should worship be man-centered in its approach or God-centered in its approach?
-Do you see the inherent danger of straying from the norm due to the I mentality?
-Is there a difference in "this is what I want" and "this is what scripture says"?

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