a comment on "Make Some Noise in Synagogue" on Tablet.com by Chancellor Arnold Eisen
(note: the original article can be found here: http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/111260/make-some-noise-in-synagogue )
Bravo to Chancellor Eisen for pointing to an issue in his article on Tablet.com that many have a hard time admitting, and for challenging us to fix what is a true problem. Whereas there is a diversity of ways to experience learning and praying, it is also possible to see a pattern of experiences in many shuls (not only Conservative/Masorti ones) that do not register as religious. I'd rather have what Pete Seeger calls "rascally voice" than polished ones, mostly because it engenders both personal ownership of communal worship on the parts of "normal" members and also because it demands of clergy (rabbis included) that we see ourselves as "holding the space", not as serving a delicious meal our "guests" couldn't produce themselves.
Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Congregation Netivot Shalom