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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

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. 

Article

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.

Article

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.

Article
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.

Document

Kol HaNeshamah Hebrew text in Davkawriter format

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

Document

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. 

Article

The Hebrew Word For Patience

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

Article

Liturgy and Prayer Leadership: Distance Learning Session

This distance learning conference call explores the dynamics of worship and the human impulse to pray, some of the deep structures of Jewish prayer services, and specifically Reconstructionist liturgy.

Spoken Audio

Finding Holiness in Everyday Experience

In this award-winning High Holiday sermon, RRC student Elyssa Cherney explores where holiness resides.

Sermon

Yigdal: A Reconstructionist Examination

Yigdal, one of the most beloved of the medieval piyyutim (liturgical poems) summarizes the thirteen principles of the Jewish faith as formulated by Moses Maimonides (RaMBaM; late 12th century C.E.). Reconstructionists often proudly assert that when we pray with a Reconstructionist siddur, we feel that we can 'say what we mean and mean what we say,' because our liturgical language reflects Reconstructionist theology. How might a Reconstructionist interpret the words of Yigdal in this way?

Document

A  Passover Blessing for People of Many Backgrounds Who Journey with Us

This is a short Passover reading that expresses appreciation for people of backgrounds and identities other than Judaism. It would work well in a community seder, as well as home seders. 

Article

Nitzavim and Teshuvah

Study sheet on the relationship between Parashat Nitzavim and themes of teshuvah.

Document

What is the purpose of the tzitzit (fringes)?

What is the meaning of the fringes (tzitzit) on a Jewish prayer shawl (tallit)? Rabbi Toba Spitzer examines the sources. 

Document