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Rabbinical Assembly Convention Told of Major Revision of Liturgy

The Rabbinical Assembly announced here today that It was nearing a comprehensive revision of the synagogue liturgy which will focus attention on the three major Jewish events of the past 2,000 years — the Hitler holocaust, the rebirth of Israel and the reunification of Jerusalem. The status of the revision was reported at the 68th annual convention of the association of Conservative rabbis by Rabbi Jules Harlow, Assembly director of publications.

Declaring that the liturgy “must also express our concern for peace in our time” and that “all these factors must be integral to the fabric of each service,” Rabbi Harlow stressed that the basic elements of the liturgy would be retained in new prayer books for the Sabbath, the High Holy Days and the festivals. He reported that a new daily prayer book, incorporating these elements, had already been published. He told his colleagues that “God is not dead; he has merely fallen asleep at some of our services.”

Several rabbinical delegates reported experimental efforts to make synagogue services more relevant to the times, including substitution of scenes from contemporary plays for sermons, and use of musical Instruments — such as the recorder and cello — in place of the organ.

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