I have been writing about this very special Friday night for some time now, and it is finally upon us! This Friday, we welcome a very special guest into our midst, my friend, and rising Jewish star, Charlie Kramer.
Charlie is special because he has not only a beautiful voice, he also writes gorgeous music. I am especially excited that he is coming because I was his Bar Mitzvah tutor a long time ago (not so long!). Charlie has an extraordinary gift of sharing his voice and his song through his blindness and elevating those with whom he shares it into a place of light and joy.
Creative people like Charlie express their journey through their art, and Charlie is no exception. He is bringing to us a very awesome and extremely unique Shabbat experience called Singing in the Dark.
Singing in the Dark is exactly as it sounds: we will be singing (praying) in the dark! Charlie created this Shabbat to give others a taste of what Jewish prayer and life is like for him. Charlie has designed this particular experience though, to reach even further than just a glimpse of how he moves through the world. Charlie will give us prayer experience that will speak to and reach into all of our challenges- be they physical, emotional, mental, or life differences and challenges; the list goes on.
Each of us regardless of ability or need has faced and overcome challenges throughout our lifetimes. Not only will we hear about Charlie’s story, we will lift up the stories of our own TE community as well.
This Shabbat we will reach into our most vulnerable and perhaps darkest core, and with Charlie as our guide, bring light, song and joy to those dark spaces that exist within us and around us.
This Shabbat service is in honor of J.D.A.I.M, Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month.
As I have been writing about, this past month, we will move through our prayer service blindfolded, and we will dim the lights in the sanctuary for most of the service. It will not be completely pitch dark. You can watch a sample of Charlie’s Singing in the Dark experience here; it will give you an idea of the kind of incredible experience we are going to share together.
Our volunteers will be on hand to greet you and at the appropriated time following my guidance, will help you to put on your blindfold and lead you to your seat in the congregation.
If you are uncomfortable with wearing a blindfold- this is ok! I encourage you to take one anyway, and experiment with what it is like to Sing in the Dark.
Please be assured, we are not leaving any of our traditional minhagim, customs, out of our service. So that we can participate in our congregational minhag of lighting candles together, without our blindfolds on, we will fulfill this ritual at 7:20 in the lobby BEFORE our service begins. All of our normal customs that appear in our traditional service are still there as well.
B’Shira u’Vracha- in Song and Blessings,
Cantor Lauren Adesnik