Theater Dybbuk-Observations 12-2-2018

From Dybbuk Theatre:
“We create a communal experience, centered around a theme, which brings together all who attend. At a One Community, Many Stories event, a theatre dybbuk facilitator takes participants through a 30-minute writing workshop in which they create personal essays and short stories. These stories focus on moments in their own lives which are connected
to a given theme. Later in the evening, after 60 – 90 minutes during which refreshments are served or a related event takes place, professional actors read/perform a selection of these stories with live musical accompaniment.

This event at my temple was a transcendent experience. A devout spiritual encounter that created an unapparelled  community attachment. The actors miraculously found the essence of our written stories. I was flushed with awe as I heard my words spoken.

“I was about to lead services and give my first sermon at BCC.  I had been provided with a cookbook of how to be a lay leader. I searched for new and unique ways to introduce prayers and songs. I don’t know why I was so fearless. I had been going to Beth Chayim Chadishim for six years. My partner Scott had died in 1989 and I was looking for a husband. Since my father died shortly after my bar mitzvah in 1965, I never attended temple. I had no relationship to God. While Scott was dying of AIDS we never thought of praying. He was an agnostic Presbyterian.

When I entered BCC for the first time it was disorienting. Seeing men praying in Hebrew with their 501 jeans was shocking. The conservative temple we attended in the 1960’s Long Island was quite different. At BCC Friday night services became an engaging routine. It was easy to digest and spirituality was started to awaken in me.

I loved studying and analyzing the way services were run. I was critical if things didn’t run smoothly. If the drash didn’t make sense or didn’t make the Torah portion relevant.

When I began my sermon there was a bubbly sensation percolating within me. The feeling of the microphone vocalizing my words. As I looked around the room I could pierce into eyes. I wanted to grab their attention. I spoke about intimacy with God in various forms. I languished over words and relished a new-found voice within me. It was the first time I was empowered. I was floating in a different world space. I had a pure soul deep awareness. I had something important to divulge.

When I heard praises afterwards it was like a drug. This beautiful high took me out of myself. I wanted to wrap my emotions around this deep love. This priceless moment stuck to my ribs. That evening I couldn’t sleep. The amazement was so rewarding it circulated in my head. Would I crash the next day? Could I ever do this again? I didn’t believe it was me standing in front the entire congregation. For so long religion was deeply closeted. I didn’t deserve this.”

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