SPRING HILL — With a guest cantor whose voice “thunders through the sanctuary” and a new interactive prayer book, the services at Temple Beth David for the upcoming High Holy Days will be something special, says its rabbi.
“We’ll have Cantor Bill Wood, who is incredible,” said Rabbi Paul Schreiber, who is known to his congregation as Reb Tuviah. “He’s an extremely professional cantor with a beautiful voice.”
Wood, who has an honorary doctorate in sacred music from Hebrew University College in New York, where he was ordained, is a full-time cantor at Central Synagogue in Rockville Centre. This will be his third time to share a musical presentation at the temple in Spring Hill.
“I’ll be chanting traditional liturgy specific to the Days of Awe, Rosh Hashanah, Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur,” Wood said. “Most of the music I choose I feel is appropriate for engaging the congregation to join me in singing, as we lift our voices in prayer together.”
Schreiber, who calls himself “a very musical rabbi," will sing songs that are more contemporary.
“For the first time, we’re moving to a different prayer book,” Schreiber said. “These beautiful writings and poetry allow for more self-reflection and introspection, so congregants can enter into the holidays in a more meaningful, personal way.”
To prepare, the rabbi has been conducting classes using the books for the past month.
“We’re going deeper into the meaning of the shofar for Rosh Hashanah, the depth of these holidays of repentance, of getting closer to God or returning to God. That’s the theme of these holidays,” Schreiber said, “the ability to look honestly at ourselves and see how we can improve.”
For Rosh Hashanah, there is an evening service at 7:30 p.m. Sept 29 and a morning service at 10 a.m. Sept. 30, followed by a Kiddush lunch and a Tashlich service and potluck at 5:30 p.m. Yom Kippur is celebrated with an evening service at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 and a 10 a.m. morning service followed by a Yizor service at 12:30 p.m., day classes, a Neilah closing service at 4:30 p.m. and a break-the-fast meal at 6:45. All services are free; no reservations are needed. They are open to the community.
The Chabad Center for Jewish Life also has been having classes designed to deepen the significance of the holidays. The center is offering services to the Jewish community that “will leave you feeling enriched, connected, uplifted and energized to start your New Year in the most meaningful way,” says its website.
Many prayers are recited by the congregation in English, so everyone can participate. Hebrew/English prayer books are used throughout the service, and Rabbi Chaim and Seema Lipszyc provide a running commentary in English and a children’s program.
Rosh Hashanah services begin at 7 p.m. Sept. 29, followed by a dinner. Morning services are at 10 a.m. Sept. 30 with a Shofar Sounding at noon, followed by a Kiddush. There is a morning service at 10 a.m. Oct. 1 with Shofar Sounding at noon, followed by Kiddush.
Yom Kippur services include Kol Nidre at 7 p.m. Oct. 8; a 10 a.m. service, Yizkor at noon, Neilah closing service at 6 p.m. Oct. 9. Fasting ends with a shofar blast at 7:42 p.m. followed by a break-the-fast buffet.
“If someone is unable to attend services, they can call and leave a message, and we’ll be able to have a private shofar blowing for Rosh Hashanah,” Rabbi Chaim Lipszyc said. “We want to invite people from the Jewish community to have that option.”
Registration to reserve a seat is required for the free events.
For information: Call Temple Beth David, 13158 Antelope St., at (352) 686-7034 or visit tbdfl.org. For Chabad Center for Jewish Life, 13576 Hunters Point Street, call (845) 238-0770 or visit chabadspringhill.com.