For those of you wondering how we used a quote from Carl Sagan in last night's Friday Evening Shabbat Service previewing our new High Holy Day prayer book, Mishkan haNefesh, here is what we did...
The first blessing of the main part of the evening prayer service, called Ma-ariv Aravim, "the One who brings on evening", focuses on the miracle of creation, and so to honor creation we read this quote from page 5 of the prayer book:
"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.' A religion, old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the Universe as revealed by modern science might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and awe hardly tapped by the conventional faiths."
- Carl Sagan
Judaism embraces the grandeur of a universe bigger than we can comprehend and grander than we ever thought as a basic component of awe for the mystery of the Creator of all. Perhaps that is how and why we Jews are distinctly "unconventional".
Wishing everyone a meaningful week, and a good end to the Jewish year of 5776 as we begin 5777 on Rosh haShanah, next Sunday evening, October 2.
Please check out the full calendar for services and events at Temple Beth Zion in Western New York here:
TBZ High Holy Day Info
Please contact me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
if you are interested in tickets - everyone gets to pray at TBZ!