kabbalat shabbat at the tel aviv port

last night, we joined the israeli prayer community beit tefilah israeli for kabbalat shabbat services at the tel aviv port.

they're kind of like bj in nyc, with a service that combines carlebach melodies with israeli songs (including a beautiful hebrew version of "what a wonderful world"), along with some debbie friedman and craig taubman thrown into the mix. their spiritual leader, esteban gottfried, who is studying to be a rabbi, is originally from argentina, and his style (and accent), while in hebrew, was very similar to roly and marcelo, as was also beit tefilah's musical instrumentation.

the setting was beautiful, looking at the crash of the waves as we sang "eli eli", which was written about the exact same sand and the sea and rush of the waters. i had a similar reaction with psalm 29. it was intentionally non-halachic; we were facing west toward the sea, watching the sunset, and not east towards jerusalem. hence, it's more חילוני (secular) than דתי (religious), and trying to be a home-grown israeli creation rather than an american import.

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