Friday, July 16, 2004

So, I was watching Northern Exposure a couple nights ago (yay to the Hallmark Channel for putting it on, boo for putting it on so late - midnight central time!).  One of my favorite episodes was on.  It was the one where Joel's favorite uncle dies, and he (Joel) wants to say kaddish for him.  The problem is he need a minyan (10 other Jews) for ritual reasons, and Alaska isn't exactly a center for Judaism.  Well, the whole town comes together and searches the entire state and western Canada in an effort to find the people he needs.  As they search and start bringing these people to him, he comes to the realization that what is important about the kaddish isn't so much the ritual, it's the support and love shared among the community.  The very last scene shows him and the entire community gathered in the small church in Ciciely (I probably spelled that wrong) praying together, each in their own way, as he read the kaddish.  I think that is one of the most beautiful scenes ever put on television.
It occurred to me as I watched that that the writer of that episode had a true grasp of what liturgy was.  Liturgy means "the work of the people."  And that was what this was.  A community of people coming together and worshipping in a way that fits that particular community.
I plan to write more later.  I need to go get paid now.

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