It all started with a case of the giggles in Tefillah (prayer) class. I was sitting next to my dear friend Fred and we were whispering about something. Then, we got a stern look from our professor. We stopped talking, but then the professor said something which reminded us of a joke we had heard three years before during our year in Israel. A rabbi, a priest, a minister, a nun and a prostitute walk into a bar and the bartender says, “What is this, a joke?” Well, the professor had said something that made us both recall that joke at the exact same time! When we looked at one another, we both fell over into a fit of the giggles and had to be sent out of class to compose ourselves.
In order to make restitution for our bad behavior, we agreed to take our professor’s summer class which was held at his residence. I thought it was going to be a boring class- a true case of having to repent for our sins. However, once I was sitting in his living room, listening and learning about the origins of prayer, I began to see that prayer, like art, dance or classical music, is an art form. The more one studies and learns about it, the more enjoyable it becomes. I was so inspired by that class that it changed the direction of my future studies. I abandoned the other ideas I had for my thesis and I promptly asked this professor to be my thesis advisor. Over the next year, he guided me and helped me to understand and learn about the different aspects of Jewish prayer and how they were compiled into our modern prayerbook.
I love to study prayer, but even more so, I love to teach about it. On Saturday, November 20th from 9:00 AM -12:00 PM, I will be teaching a class entitled “A Journey Through the Prayer Book.” If you have ever wondered why we say certain prayers, what they mean, from whence they came, how they were compiled or even who wrote them, this class is for you. We will nosh, sing new and old melodies, learn about different prayers and, who knows, maybe even have a fit of the giggles!
If you are interested in coming to this class, please register by sending me an email so I can prepare enough copies of the material.