The Mahzors are In!
GHC joins synagogues all across America (around the world, even) who are celebrating the arrival of Mahzor Lev Shalem.
We are grateful to the 101 GHC families whose donations made this purchase possible. Our congregation is especially appreciative to the families of Marcie Schneider & Michael Ader, Naomi & Michael Feinkind, Barbara Landress & Phil Karmel, Rita & Larry Lieberman, Lori & Mark Sloane and Sisterhood for their extraordinary support of this purchase.
Lev Shalem means "A Full Heart." The editors chose this name because they "would like contemporary Jews to pray with full hearts." The goal for Mahzor Lev Shalem is to make Jewish liturgy accessible and joyful to all who enter the synagogue. The book is visually appealing, the translations are in modern English, and each page is bordered by commentary and interpretations in the margins. The book was twelve years in the making.
While the Rabbinical Assembly had planned a first run of 30,000 copies, the demand was such that over 100,000 were pre-ordered. The first printing of 130,000 copies is now sold out. A second printing is underway.
We have also purchased a complete set of Tiku Shofar, new Mahzors for all of the children at Junior Congregation. Many of our old Mahzorim are going to a good home at a university Hillel in Maryland.
It's never too late to donate a Mahzor to the synagogue in honor or in memory of a family member or friend, please complete the information below and leave your check payable to "GHC Torah Fund" with the GHC office staff. For a donation of $44, we will place a bookplate noting your contribution. Include this information: Your Name, Phone, In Honor/Memory of: ___________, Number of books @ $44.00 each.
I was moved by the following comments about Mahzor Lev Shalem posted online by a congregant at a shul in Massachusetts and sent to me by Alan Kravitz.
What does a new Mahzor mean for us?
For our community, a new Mahzor is an opportunity to meet the High Holidays as if we are celebrating them again for the first time, savoring the familiar words and melodies, but also learning from the explanations, and allowing the kavanot to help inspire the prayers we are offering with new intentions.
A new Mahzor means we may see some new language, in both Hebrew and English, during services. There are some new "new" poems, and some new "old" poems, as the Mahzor contains both contemporary and early prayers that were not included in earlier Conservative Mahzorim. There are also many choices, to reflect the diversity of practices found in different congregations.
A new Mahzor means some things we're used to are omitted. (People who like shorter services should be happy about this!)
Like a new pair of shoes, this Rosh Hashanah we'll be trying a new Mahzor on for size. It may pinch in some places, or feel awkward in others. But after walking around for a while, we'll get used to it. And for many years to come, we will return to it as its pages become worn, its words become familiar, and and our prayers truly come from "a full heart."