A good part of my job as a rabbi is to encourage people to feel something Jewishly - to connect to Judaism in a way such that they are emotionally moved.
I did not feel yesterday's earthquake. At the time I was on the telephone to Israel, and was walking around the room and did not notice it. Afterwards, however, I saw the dining-room chandelier swinging a bit, and it was obvious that we had been shaken up.
Sometimes, getting slightly shaken is a good thing. Now, with the High Holidays just five weeks away, I can't help but think that now is the time to prepare to get shaken. Those of us in the room this morning at minyan must have been moved enough to join us at 7 AM for ritual holy moments. But I am concerned that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur will bring thousands of people to our services, most of whom are neither prepared for nor willing to be shaken up.
I will try to make those services meaningful, to help people connect. If I could schedule a small temblor, just enough to move the floor (and maybe some hearts and minds as well), I would do that. Since I can't, we will just have to work harder to move the congregation otherwise.