Shabbat Services in Tel Aviv

Friday, March 4

Written by Steve Fox

So you think we have a small attendance when only 75 people come to services! For the second time in a week, our Temple Isaiah group of around 15 was a significant fraction of the attendees, this time at Kehilat Beit Tefilah Israeli, in Tel Aviv. And since so much of the service was in Hebrew, I was sitting there, hardly understanding a thing. But I was loving it. It was a wonderful demonstration of how the process works at a non-verbal level. Congregants were relaxed and happy to be there. They were quite informal, very congenial, and the music was great– led by a jazzy pianist and cantorial soloist. Who needed to understand the words of the prayer leader when you are just swept up by the spirit in the room?

We’ll have to return some day in the summer, when the services take place on the beach, and the participation increases 100 fold to about 1000 people. If I thought Friday night was a high…

Beit Tefilah Israeli’s Kabbalat Shabbat Service on the Tel Aviv Pier in the summer – it draws an enormous crowd.

My only regret was that even though Cantor Kent joined us, because he did not want to take away from those leading the service, we were not treated to his wonderful voice.


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