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Spirituality

Prayer, Meditation, Ritual, and Experiential Judaism

Religion is the container for the life of the spirit. It is the gravity that anchors spirit to earth, translating the vision of the soul into the responsibility of the individual. In the best of all possible worlds, spirituality and religion are partners. The soul’s most profound experiences with a presence greater than the self are given form and articulation through liturgy, ritual and moral law. Religious forms, in turn, remain constantly open to the renewal of sacred moments. If spirituality at its best lifts us up, religion at its best keeps us rooted. Religion can test spiritual vision in the crucible of community and history. Spirituality can keep religion from forgetting the experience that formed its story. Religion keeps spirituality from selfishness; it reminds us of our obligations. Spirituality keeps religion from absolutism; it reminds us that the breath of God blows through each and every human soul. 

—Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

More on Spirituality

Herring and Havdalah

An essay on travel to Eastern Europe, and the strangeness and familiarity found there.

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The Shofar and the Tears of Our Mothers

Kavvanah for shofar blowing on the High Holidays

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God Loves the Stranger: Introduction

Introductory essay in God Loves the Stranger

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Welcoming Those Who Are Close

Sometimes we need to consciously welcome those who “should” already feel close.

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Hospitality and Spirit

Rabbi Shefa Gold reflects on creating a spiritual community of welcome

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Shofar Kavannah for Refugees

This ritual invokes the blast of the shofar to articulate the plight of refugees. It was created for use at High Holidays in response to the presidential travel ban.

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Amidah for Peace, Justice and Immigration

This alternative Amidah was used during mincha prayers by members of the Reconstructionist Rabbinic Association outside of an Immigration Processing Center in order to call attention to the plight of immigrants and underscore the importance of the Jewish obligation to welcome the stranger. 

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psalm 79: pour out your love

Rabbi Brant Rosen’s poem responds to Psalm 79, challenging us to welcome the stranger even, and especially, in uncomfortable ways.

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Welcoming Strangers Through AirBnB: A Spiritual Practice

As empty nesters open their home to strangers via AirBnB, they find that hospitality has spiritual lessons to teach.

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News and Blogs

Keeping the Faith: Resilience in the Jewish Tradition

In an essay for eJewishPhilanthropy, Rabbi Deborah Waxman delves into Jewish history and tradition around resilience — the focus of our new podcast, Hashivenu.

News
News and Blogs

Embracing Our Sorrows

As the mournful day of Tisha B’Av arrives, Rabbi Jacob Staub reflects on the value of embracing our sorrows. 

News

Hashkiveinu, Prayer and Connection: A Lesson for Use With Siddur Kol Hano'ar

This lesson helps children and adults delve into the meaning and feeling of the Hashkiveinu prayer.

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Kol HaNeshamah Hebrew text in Davkawriter format

Hebrew text of the services found in the Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Veḥagim prayer book.

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How Can Reconstructionists Pray?

How does a non-supernatural notion of God fit together with the practice of prayer? Rabbi Jacob Staub explores their intersection. 

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The Hebrew Word For Patience

Rabbi Jacob Staub reflects on the spirituality of anger, patience, and healing. 

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