God’s Prayer – Special Selichot Performance and Service

The month of Elul, which begins on Sunday, is the month of preparation and connection that leads us into the High Holiday season.

In the Sephardi tradition, the special penitential prayers known as Selichot are recited very early in the morning every day during Elul.  Ashkenazi Jews have the tradition of a midnight (or close to midnight) service the Saturday night, or two Saturday nights before Rosh HaShanah, and then every morning until then.  The service is a musical and liturgical trigger for the days to come, introducing the themes of selichot through the passionate prayers that ask for forgiveness, modeled on Moses’ plea on behalf of the people after the episode of the Golden Calf.

This year, the first selichot service is on Saturday night September 8th and at Bonai Shalom, we have a special program before the service with the performance of an extraordinary new work by Dr. Michael Kagan called God’s Prayer: the Sacred Task of Living.

God’s Prayer is a recently published book of prayer, poetry, modern-day psalms.  It expresses the Creator’s deep pain at the state of our planet and Her loving prayer that we pull back from the edge, clear up the mess and make this home into a better place for all.  The message in this ‘prophetic vision’ is of critical importance to the well-being of human life on this planet.  It is addressed particularly to followers of the Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity and Islam, but is relevant to people of all faiths. Kagan and his wife, Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan, live in Jerusalem and are long-time friends of Congregation Bonai Shalom.

available through the Boulder Bookstore

This dramatic and stirring presentation will be performed by Jan Kirschner, Charna Rosenholtz, Pamela Sherman and Rabbi Marc Soloway on Saturday September 8th from 8:45 pm to midnight. Here is the full schedule:

  • 8.45pm – Havdalah
  • 9pm – dramatic reading of “God’s Prayer”, followed by a discussion
  • 10.30pm – Break and light refreshments
  • 11pm –  Selichot Service led by Jan Kirschner and Rabbi Marc, setting the liturgical mood for the season

This program is open to the community and will be held at Congregation Bonai Shalom, 1527 Cherryvale Road.


About Rabbi Marc Soloway

Marc is a native of London, England where he was an actor and practitioner of complimentary medicine before training as a rabbi in London, Jerusalem and Los Angeles. He was ordained at the Ziegler School of Rabbinical Studies at the American Jewish University in 2004 and has been the the spiritual leader at Bonai Shalom in Boulder ever since. Marc was a close student of Rabbi Zalman Schechter Shalomi and received an additional smicha (rabbinic ordination) from him in 2014, just two months before he died. He has been the host and narrator of two documentary films shown on PBS; A Fire in the Forest: In Search of the Baal Shem Tov and Treasure under the Bridge: Pilgrimage to the Hasidic Masters of Ukraine. Marc is a graduate of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality, a fellow of Rabbis Without Borders, has traveled to Ghana in a rabbinic delegation with American Jewish World Service and co-chair of the Rabbinical Council and national board member of Hazon, which strives to create more sustainable Jewish communities. In 2015, Marc was among a group of 12 faith leaders honored at The White House as “Champions of Change” for work on the climate. Marc is a proud member of Beit Izim, Boulder’s Jewish goat milking co-op.

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