Shabbat: Pure and Simple will debut on December 15th. Click here for more information.
Rachel: How long have you been in DC now?
Rabbi Scott: I’ve been in DC four months now. I love it. In L.A., walking 15 minutes gets you to your mailbox. Here, you can enjoy the entire city.
Rachel: What is your favorite part of DC/the DC Jewish community?
Rabbi Scott: Right now it’s a tossup between my amazing job at Sixth & I (not to mention having concerts and authors in house) and the Dupont Farmers Market. Dolcezza is a close third.
Rachel: What programs/events/services do you provide?
Rabbi Scott: You can expect more from me in the coming months, but we’re starting a series called What It Takes- short term, high intensity classes with friends, designed to get practical, useful Jewish knowledge so that you can connect to services, holidays, life cycles, and learning -and feel comfortable in them all. With Sarah Lawson and Josh Cogan’s help, Sixth & I is starting Havdallah with the Three Star Collective- a chance to hear great music and poetry inside Havdallah (the service separating Shabbat and the rest of the week). It’ll be the perfect way to start a Saturday night. Jamming is encouraged. We’ll be relaunching the Sixth Street Minyan in February. The details aren’t out yet, but expect an extraordinary new Friday night opportunity.
Rachel: Your service is called, “Shabbat: Pure and Simple.” What do you mean by “pure and simple”?
Rabbi Scott: It’s hard to step in Judaism cold. Our kind of prayer is thick and rich, moves quickly, and assumes a lot of knowledge. I know people who’ve been coming to Shabbat every week for 30 years, and still don’t know the service. It’s not easy to learn by osmosis. Shabbat Pure and Simple does two things: it slows the service down so that participants can focus more deeply on what they’re doing and saying, learn to understand why things are, and, even for the pro’s, simply have enough time to concentrate; it also provides an important opportunity for those who’ve never experienced Shabbat morning to come in, know what’s going on, even help lead the service if they want to.
Rachel: This is Sixth and I’s first Saturday service. Why did you choose to lead a Saturday service?
Rabbi Scott: We created a Shabbat morning service because of demand. After reaching out, our people told us that they were looking for a morning experience.