Restoring The Passion

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach writes:

I personally find it difficult to sit through a long-winded service replete with a cantor yodeling even the most beautiful melodies. I have always been puzzled as to how a synagogue service ever became a one-man concert rather than something participatory which involves the whole community in singing. For that reason, I have always organized small High Holy Day services which, to be sure, are about reciting the whole davening but are also about discussion and explanation, which makes them inclusive and participatory.

But there seems to be a disturbing trend in Jewish life whereby individuals are being rendered passive. They sit and listen to the rabbi, they sit and listen to the cantor, the youth director prays with their kids while they sit in silent submission in the pews. And truth be told, this idleness is boring the heck out of most Jews and slowly killing off Jewish communal passion.

The writer is the founder of The Jewish Values Network which seeks to bring Jewish values to the mainstream Jewish and non-Jewish public. His upcoming book, The Kosher Sutra: Eight Sacred Secrets to Reca

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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