14 April 2010

Omer 15: Sing

Omer Day Fifteen

The excitement last night at CBE in the seventh grade and high school program for the season premiere of Glee was thick as Fox fog. The kids were jumping out of their skin. It's a clever show, I'll admit, and with three daughters and a neutered dog, if you think I'm going to avoid being made to watch, you're mistaken.

Yesterday with the seventh graders I again "gave voice" to their doubt, allowing them to set God aside as a requirement for their engagement with Jewish ideas and let them name for me the things they like about being Jewish. The class was 9 seventh grade guys and to a man they said, "I like all the different ideas and the main point is that it's okay to disagree." A couple of guys shared stories about how their Catholic friends "never get to do that" which I found interesting. It means that they actually talk about their faith and what it means when they're not in Shul. Cool.

The high school kids and I set to work after dinner planning the Shavuot service--in 35 days--and the task at hand was picking out various melodies for the prayers. We went page by page by going through the catalog of all the songs they know. And four of us sat there for about 40 minutes of singing. Three guys and me. Singing. It was pretty powerful, I'll admit. And restorative, in a way, to the notion that high school kids are too wound up in the exigencies of status to sing Jewish songs with their rabbi.

We ended up with several versions of Mi Chamocha, settling in for a repeat of Carlebach's melody, a rousing, table-pounding affair. It'll be interesting to see what happens next week.

I got home last night to considerable excitement about Glee. My seven year old had a sign on our front door: "Glee macks (sic) Glee. I'm talking to YOU Mr. Bachman!" I said hello, took a quick detour to my prayer corner for Maariv and counting the fifteenth day and then settled in to watch high school kids sing.

I can relate.

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