Saturday night is Selichot. It is a special time of reflection as the month of Elul draws to an end and the New Year is upon us. It is a mystical time of turning, repentance and hope that God will bless us and hear our prayers at this season.
Symbolic of this change is re-dressing the Torah scrolls in their white mantles for the holy days. We blow the shofar with a loud blast at the end of the special late night service. We hear the Avinu Malkeinu prayer sung. We turn our hearts toward each other and begin in earnest this season of renewal and reflection.
This year as part of our Selichot ceremony and preparation we will start our evening at Congregation Kol Ami (7:30 pm on Saturday Sept. 4) with a viewing of the documentary “Praying in Her Own Voice”. This is a timely film about the struggle for equality in prayer by Women of the Wall. A group in Israel that gathers on the New Month (Rosh Chodesh) at the Kotel to daven the morning special service. Women’s prayer is controversial especially in public and aloud at the Western Wall. This group even sued for the right in Israel’s Supreme Court.
This past summer, one of its leaders, former Jerusalem City Council Woman, Anat Hoffman was arrested with the Torah! Last November one of the prayer leaders Nofrat Frenkel was arrested for praying.
Come learn about this inspiring group of women, dedicated to equality at Judaism’ s holiest site as we prepare to pray at Judaism’s holiest season.
I hope to see you at Kol Ami on Saturday evening! 1200 N. La Brea Av at Lexington in West Hollywood. And yes it is free!