In Our Virtual Mishkan, Reflections: Rabbi Zachary Goodman

Tfillat HaAdam

Holy Blossom Temple has long been considered a leader in the Reform Zionist world. Our clergy and our members are comprised of אוהבי ישראל– Lovers of Israel. Not only do we support the State of Israel, but we are also committed partners to the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism (IMPJ). With the Reform Movement in Israel is facing significant struggles brought on by the Covid-19 Pandemic, now is the time for us to stand up and show our colours. It is with great excitement that I share the news that the IMPJ is on verge of publishing the new Israeli Reform Siddur, titled ‘Tfillat HaAdam’ – the prayer of all humankind.

This Siddur is the result of a process of years of study, debate and discussion led by the editors, Rabbi Professor Dalia Marx and Rabbi Dr. Alona Lisitsa, along with input from many rabbis, cantors, scholars and lay leaders of the Israel Reform Movement. The Siddur includes a wide variety of creative works from Israeli and Jewish sources. It succeeds in preserving traditional prayers while simultaneously offering updated liturgy and texts based on today’s attitudes towards egalitarianism and gender and sensitivity to the variety of views that make up our pluralistic movement.

This achievement reflects the exponential growth of the Israel Reform Movement, which has doubled its congregational presence in Israel in the last decade and highlights the burst of creativity in liturgy and music that has accompanied this progress. In this final stage of publishing, the IMPJ invited congregations in Israel and worldwide to support this important step of nurturing a Reform presence in Israel through a new Siddur – ‘Tfillat HaAdam’.

It is with great pride and gratitude that we can announce, Holy Blossom Temple has made a generous donation to the IMPJ to support the cost of publishing, printing, and distributing the new siddur. This charitable giving will be recognized in the acknowledgment pages as well as enable the movement to publish an English-Hebrew version of ‘Tfillat HaAdam’ in the coming year. The Siddur will be printed with a leading Israeli publishing house and will be sold in bookstores throughout the country and directly to IMPJ congregations. On “Shabbat Bereshit”, October 16th-17,2020, the Tfillat HaAdam will be celebrated and dedicated in congregations throughout Israel.

Holy Blossom’s participation in this project was made possible by the generosity of Carole and Jay Sterling, Les and Bev Rothschild, and Joan Garson and David Baskin. On behalf of the entire Holy Blossom community, we thank you for this gift that helps to reinforce the bridge from Canada to Israel. In an act of solidarity of your leadership and charitable giving, each of the three rabbis at Holy Blossom also made financial contributions to this endeavour. We thank you for enabling Holy Blossom to be among the congregations that are supporting this historic publication.

Thanks to the leadership of Rabbi Splansky, we can also share the good news that one of the siddur’s chief editors, Professor Rabbi Dalia Marx, accepted an invitation to teach us at Holy Blossom about the process of developing the siddur. It will be fascinating to learn about the theological and even political decisions that went into creating its content. We will share the information for that event in the coming months.

As Holy Blossom enters its centennial year as a Reform congregation, this commitment to Reform Judaism in Israel could not have arrived at a more perfect moment in our history. I hope that you take pride in our community’s commitment to the IMPJ and supporting religious pluralism in the State of Israel. While donating to a siddur publication may feel like just a small way to push forward our movement, we can learn from the words of Rabbi Israel Bal Shem Tov, who said “When you hold a part of the essence, you hold all of it.”

Wishing you and your families an early Shanah Tovah U’metukah!

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