Saturday, February 22, 2020

Kabbalat Shabbat experiment: Central Synagogue

Central Synagogue has much to recommend it, not the least of which is that it's so easy to get to--just three express stops on the subway brought us so close to this synagogue that we could literally see the synagogue building, which is a mere two blocks from the subway station, the minute we got up to street level.  The sanctuary is gorgeous, all decorated columns and Moorish arches, and the music is wonderful--Cantor Mutlu and the musicians were all excellent!  (If our synagogue had that kind of money, we'd hire him in a New York minute!)  There was even an oneg with hot food downstairs after the service.

But something made me feel a bit uncomfortable, and it wasn't mainly the organ music, which I'm not fond of in a synagogue and which was played for a few minutes late in the service.  I had been warned, and, for me, at least, the warning turned out to be true--I really did feel as if I were attending a Broadway show, to such an extent that I actually had to remind myself several times not to applaud.  We might go back to Central Synagogue another time or two just to catch some of the folks who had the night off last night--neither Rabbi Buchdahl nor Cantor Cadrain was present.  But my husband and I agree that this is not a synagogue that we would be comfortable attending on a regular basis.  I'm glad, though, that Central Synagogue has such a beautiful service, even though it's not quite right for us--this is a perfect service for those who do like organ music in a synagogue and for pulling in those who might otherwise attend a Broadway show on Erev Shabbat (Sabbath Eve) instead of going to pray.


Blogger Lanie said...

JBS broadcasts their Friday evening service 6 PM. On my TV, Channel 138

Tue Feb 25, 05:00:00 PM 2020  

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