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Virtual Shabbat Box

Virtual Shabbat Box - Resources for you in these uncertain times

Your Virtual Shabbat Box holds many ways to celebrate the day. Choose what nurtures you: listen, watch or read.

May 27-28

In this poem, Hila Ratzabi shares the grief and horror of learning about the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

tealights

The leaders of Reconstructing Judaism and the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association cry out in grief and pain at the senseless deaths of 11 people in Buffalo, New York, and Laguna Woods, California.

memorial for Buffalo shooting victims with flowers and candles

Rabbi Deborah Waxman offered this prayer at the Washington, D.C., rally for abortion rights.

pro-choice protesters in front of the U.S. Capital Building

In his discussion of the biblical roots of a Jewish theology of Earth, Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow concludes that “seeing and hearing YHWH [God] as an Interbreath — Ruach HaKodesh, the Holy Breath/ Wind/ Spirit — could transform our entire culture, bringing the insights of mystics and the calculations of geologists into a coherent whole.”

mountain with pine trees and lake

Have you ever heard a Jewish organization refer to itself as “warm and welcoming,” but on some level fails to live up to that promise? Miriam Steinberg-Egeth and Warren Hoffman discuss this subject in their book “Warm and Welcoming: How the Jewish Community Can Become Truly Diverse and Inclusive in the 21st Century.” The authors argue that “warm and welcoming” is not a state to achieve but a constant process.

Warm and Welcoming Evolve podcast

May 20-21

Read: ‘Count Her’

In this poem, Cathleen Cohen reflects on the practice of counting the Omer. Sourced from Ritualwell

clock

 

Read: ‘Blessings and Curses’

In his d’var Torah, Rabbi Lewis Eron teaches that we should not read the listings of blessings and curses that appears in this week’s portion as a description of the world in which we live, but rather as a vision of the world as it should be — an affirmation of our ancestors’ faith in God’s sovereignty and their belief that in some future time God’s dominion will be manifest in its fullness. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

person serving soup

 

Read: ‘Honoring a Teacher at the End of the Year’

From CLAL: At the end of a year of learning with a teacher, we may feel we have learned what we came to learn; we may feel frustrated that we did not master more of the information we sought; we may feel awed by how much there is yet to learn, and we may feel that we have been deeply changed by the experience. Sourced from Ritualwell

teacher with student in wheelchair

 

Watch: ‘How to Bring Judaism into Your Home’

Whether you’re moving in with new roommates or setting up a new home with a partner, how might Judaism play into that? This video by BimBam will help you think through the possibilities along with your friends or partner. Sourced from Ritualwell

 

Read: ‘The Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and Reconstructing Judaism Affirm Their Strong Commitment to Reproductive Justice and Abortion Rights’

Regardless of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ultimate decision, the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and Reconstructing Judaism remain steadfastly committed to advocating for reproductive freedom, and the principle that abortion care is medical care and a basic human right. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

people protesting in front of the supreme court

May 13-14

Watch: ‘Kein Yehi (May It Be)’

A rerun of Rabbi Moshe Heyn’s song for Shabbat because we just need it. Sourced from Ritualwell

Read: ‘Prayer for Our Power, Prayer for Our Choice’

In light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court news, Rabbi Stephanie Crawley helps us to seek the power in choice. Sourced from Ritualwell  
Pro-choice protestors in front of the U.S. capital building, one holding a sign saying "Keep Abortion Legal"
 

Read: ‘An Eye for an Eye?’

Rabbi Jonathan Kliger, in partnership with Reb Tevye, teaches how the law of equal retribution from this week’s parashah demonstrates the evolving nature of Jewish tradition. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org  
Close up of someone playing a violin
   

Listen: ‘Songs of Joy and Mourning’

Shanna McKinney-Baldon, and Rabbis Deborah Waxman and Sandra Lawson, discuss a Reconstructionist, values-based approach to engaging with Jewish tradition and the ongoing process of gaining support for a movement-wide resolution supporting reparations for slavery. Sourced from Hashivenu: Jewish Teachings on Resilience

Read: ‘A New Mitzvah: Loving All Those Who Dwell in the Land’

Rabbi Toba Spitzer discusses a new consciousness afoot among forward-thinking Israelis and Palestinians that challenge us here in America to shed old ways of thinking about the situation. It also urges us to step up in ways that will promote a greater spaciousness in our hearts and minds that might lead to our being part of the solution and not just part of the problem. Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations  
A heart shape created from fog on a window at night
   

May 6-7

Read: ‘When Peace Comes’

Violence continues to plague the land of Israel/Palestine. And so, along with Alden Solovy, we must continue to dream and pray for the day when peace comes. Sourced from Ritualwell   
Close up of people holding hands, one with brown skin and one with light skin
   

Read: ‘Counting COVID: From Omer to Omer

As we continue to journey through the wilderness of the COVID-19 pandemic, Betsy Teutsch spins new meaning into the tradition of counting the days between Pesah and ShavuotSourced from Ritualwell  
Stalks of wheat in a field
 

Read: ‘The Mighty Waters of Justice and Love’

Rabbi Yael Ridberg teaches from this week’s parashah that “the revolutionary love — the kind that means the absence of hate, the absence of grudges and vengeance, and with a vision of holiness of being and behavior — would mean the kind of revolutionary justice we are still working towards, each and every day.” Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org   
Lit tea lights on a dark surface.
   

Watch: ‘Hinei Mah Tov’ 

This video of a new setting for “Hinei Mah Tov” by RRC student Solomon Hoffman was shared at the recent Reconstructing Judaism Convention and features more than 150 Reconstructionists representing 40 of our communities from across North America and beyond. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

Read: ‘The Founding of the Society for the Advancement of Judaism (SAJ) Was Significant: Not Primarily Because of the ‘First Bat Mitzvah’

“Far more radical things happened at the SAJ that did rattle the Jewish world,” according to Miriam Eisenstein, and “we should celebrate all of them, and most especially, the SAJ’s 100 years.” Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations   
Doorway to the Society for the Advancement of Judaism
 

The Reconstructionist Network