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Tag Archives: spiritual practice

Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound

Thumbnail_AvivaChernick Shaliach tzibbur (prayer leader), musician, and teacher Aviva Chernick returns again to CBS to lead Renew Our Days: The High Holy Days Unbound, a special, two-part service occurring on the mornings of Rosh Hashanah Day 1 and Yom Kippur. Renew Our Days is a prayer lab, a non-halachic service (e.g., there is no Torah service) inspired by traditional liturgy, but not […] http://bethsholomsf.org/renew-our-days-the-high-holy-days-unbound-2/ Continue Reading...

Chukat — Numbers 19:1 – 22:1

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Chukat “The fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, by the disenchantment of the world.” I am often struck by the prescience of 19th-century German sociologist Max Weber, author of the influential The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904-05). Notwithstanding the “disenchantment” that ensues in modernity with the […] http://bethsholomsf.org/chukat-numbers-191-221-2/ Continue Reading...

Beha’alotecha – Numbers 8:1 – 12:16

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_BehaAlotecha How does ritual allow for the building of community practice? Ongoing commitment to communal ritual requires trust. Another key for community building I learned from Dr. Sarale Shadmi-Wortman (Oranim College of Education) while on the Rabin Bay Area Leadership Mission to Israel is Mutual Trust: The “willingness of individuals to join and help others without […] http://bethsholomsf.org/behaalotecha-numbers-81-1216-2/ Continue Reading...

Naso — Numbers 4:21 – 7:89

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Naso Another key community building lesson I learned from Dr. Sarale Shadmi-Wortman (Oranim College of Education) during the Rabin Bay Area Leadership Mission to Israel is the importance of Belonging – a sense that “this is mine,” a feeling of ownership and full inclusion in a group that allows “a community to become part of the […] http://bethsholomsf.org/naso-numbers-421-789/ Continue Reading...

Acharei Mot / Kedoshim – Leviticus 16:1 – 20:27

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_AchareiMot-Kedoshim In conversation with a Jewish artist, I recently quipped that all artists must see their art as an offering to the Other Side. “What?!,” the artist exclaimed. In order to quell the energy of the negative forces in the universe, I explained, the mystical interpretation of many rituals, especially sacrifice, is understood as a way […] http://bethsholomsf.org/acharei-mot-kedoshim-leviticus-161-2027/ Continue Reading...

Tazria / Metzora – Leviticus 12:1-15:33

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Tazria-Metzora Debate still abounds as to how best translate the key terms tumah and taharah — signatures of Leviticus (see, for example, Chapter 12). Purity and impurity? Ritual fitness or exclusion? Death and rebirth? I continue to return to the inspired translation of theologian Rachel Adler, who teaches that tumah and taharah are best rendered as […] http://bethsholomsf.org/tazria-metzora-leviticus-121-1533/ Continue Reading...

Vayakhel — Exodus 35:1 – 38:20

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Vayakhel While participating on the Rabin Community Building Mission to Israel, I came to realize just how much community is founded upon shared values and built upon shared practice. On this mission, I learned from Dr. Sarale Shadmi-Wortman from Oranim College in Eretz Yisrael, who taught that there are five lenses for measuring community building: (a) […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vayakhel-exodus-351-3820-2/ Continue Reading...

From Tiberias With Love

Thumbnail_Roberts We’re pleased to announce From Tiberias With Love: Letters of Spiritual Direction from 1777 Community in Eretz Yisrael, a four-session mini-course that will meet at 8 a.m. on Thursdays in March (2, 9, 16, 23), immediately following morning minyan. Scroll down to register now! Does distance really make the heart grow fonder? What would you […] http://bethsholomsf.org/from-tiberias-with-love/ Continue Reading...

Yitro — Exodus 18:1–20:23

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Yitro Revelation marks a unique aspect of Judaism, and the modern German-Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig astutely noted that it exists in symbiotic relationship with Creation and Redemption. But what are the degrees and nuances of Revelation? Sinai may be Revelation’s apogee, but can we develop a deeper appreciation for its subtler nuances? Jewish liturgy suggests that […] http://bethsholomsf.org/yitro-exodus-181-2023-2/ Continue Reading...

Va’eira — Exodus 6:2-9:35

Thumbnail_CoverDesign_Vaeira In her renowned book, Memory and Oblivion: The Mystery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (2009), Israeli scholar Rachel Elior posits that history cannot be separated from the one who tells it. The winners write their version of the story empowered by their power and authority over the present; whereas the oppressed write their forgotten history […] http://bethsholomsf.org/vaeira-exodus-62-935-2/ Continue Reading...