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The TBE Blog

 A highlight of returning to the TBE sanctuary has been experiencing our tradition’s music in its many forms.  We’ve sung prayers — some joyful, some haunting. We’ve had a community hootenanny and hosted a guitar/mandolin duo that debuted Israeli compositions.   Our youngest members have shared their songs at the bimah. But nothing was as unexpected as getting a beatboxing lesson from Cory, of the Maccabeats; the sounds B, T, and K will never be the same.  

Throughout the pandemic, TBE has gathered for worship and learning and celebration, even if from a distance. This year’s Chanukah offered a mix of on-line and in-person experiences, and hybrids of the two. Rabbi Sherman explained the foundations of holiday customs in his minhagim class. There was a Zoom gathering for baking. When families came to the courtyard to light the giant new chanukiyah, I Zoomed in from the comfort of my study. And on the sixth night, during the TGIS Shabbat service, I was astonished to find the sanctuary opened up as during the High Holidays and felt wonder at how our 3-D glasses transformed flames into stars of David.  

The energy culminated on Sunday, as 600 community members, from toddlers to octogenarians, streamed into the building. The teen T’Filah Band and K-5 students introduced the Maccabeats (an a capella group originally from Yeshiva University) by performing their song “Candlelight.” The seven singers sported a “Book of Mormon” look (white shirts and black ties) with a twist, as several also wore Chanukah sweaters. Their songs ranged from cheeky to sacred, in English and Hebrew, with an ode to the centrality of “Oseh Shalom.”  

At the concert’s conclusion the final light of the chanukiyah was lit, bright on the bimah.  Our temple had been rededicated.

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