SPRINGFIELD, NJ - The service was initially going to be outside. But the remnants of Hurrican Dorian had other plans.
Normally, the congregation at Sha'arey Shalom holds one Friday night Shabbat service a year outdoors, dubbed "Shabbat Under the Stars" as a change of pace from the regular location. The goal of the service, which has been held for the past few years is to enjoy the beauty of nature while worshipping in the way they choose.
However, the congregation improvised, moving the seating for their event indoors while still displaying projections of the night sky to bring the feeling of the outdoors inside. After the slight re-schedule, the evening continued on as normal.
Speaking about the evening's festivities, Sha'arey Shalom Rabbi Renee Edelman said that the annual service is one of her favorite traditions at the temple.
"Shabbat under the stars is possibly my favorite Shabbat evening at Shaarey Shalom," Edelman said. "People come back together from a summer of different experiences, enjoy a meal and then sing our prayers together under the light of the stars. The children dance to their own melodies while our elders watch with joy."
"Our prayers somehow seem more heartfelt and louder when we sit in the arms of Mother Nature," she added.