Learn how the Momentum Campaign is reconstructing Judaism → 

Home » Virtual Shabbat Box

Virtual Shabbat Box

Virtual Shabbat Box illustration

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

April 26-27

As we seek rest from the bustle of sederim and the tumult of our times, find comfort in Rabbi Shawn Zevit’s original song calling for a day or even an hour to Let me cool and recover.”

Person with their arms open against a sunny yellow sky

Rabbi Janet Madden offers a way to express grief and loss at Yizkor with the basic elements of fire, water, salt and stone.

Small stones in a bowl, one stone is inscribed with the word Remember

This meditation, created by Ariel Neshama Lee, invites you to embark on a journey of reflection and introspection by focusing on emanations of God described by the Kabbalists as sefirot.

Kabbalistic drawing in a notebook

April 19-20

Rabbi Deborah Waxman delves into the nature of freedom, teaching that Passover brings our freedom to life by enacting our highest values and our deepest commitments.

Rabbi Deborah Waxman in front of a bookshelf

Rabbi Malka Binah Klein’s chant sets the tone for searching for hard-to-find hametz, both physical and metaphysical.

Hands holding lit candle

Imagining ourselves into this story involves us in an ever unfolding creating process, write Rabbis Mychal Copeland and Margie Jacobs.

Seder plate with matzah and tulips

The voices of Jews of Color have largely been missing from the pages of Passover Haggadot. These supplements offer the beginnings of a corrective.

Jews of Color Haggadot supplements

April 12-13

The voices of Jews of Color have largely been missing from the pages of Passover Haggadot. These supplements offer the beginnings of a corrective.

A multicultural group of women talking and laughing indoors against an exposed brick wall

Rabbi Joshua Boettiger, a poet and Mussar teacher, explores how retelling the Passover story illuminates the nature of suffering and has the potential to cultivate empathy.

Seder table with matzah, prayer books, table settings, and a vase of tulips

Rabbi Isaac Saposnik shares poetic wisdom for your seder table about what one can say to our children—and to the adults at a seder held in this confounding year 5784.

Read: What Should we Tell the Children?

The Virtual Passover Box is a trove of digital resources designed to help you experience, and retell, the central story of the Jewish age. These resources enhance all 15 parts of your seder.

A seder plate and four cups of red wine in gold wine glasses, next to a pitcher of red wine

April 5-6

The mother of Moses, Aaron and Miriam isn’t given much character development in Exodus. Here, Rabbi Sonja K. Pilzs stirring poem imagines Yocheved’s voice in its full power and complexity.

A woman with long brown hair and a green and red striped dress walking against a yellow sky with her back turned

With Passover approaching, it’s the perfect time for this blessing for the simple joy of bread. Leavened bread.

A person's hand reaching for a loaf of challah and a cup of honey

During the weekly Ritualwell “Holding Each Other” gathering, Rabbi Shawn Zevitt strums his acoustic guitar, performing an ancient prayer for healing.

A close-up of a person's hand strumming an acoustic guitar

Rabbi Rebecca Lillian analyzes the state of antisemitism in Sweden and Denmark, offering both sobering and hopeful observations.

Aerial view of a neighborhood in Stockholm, Sweden

March 29-30

Learn about the organization that’s building inclusive communities, training tomorrow’s rabbis, connecting people through digital platforms and dismantling systemic racism and antisemitism.

Two older people hugging, one wearing a Reconstructing Judaism backpack

During the weekly Ritualwell “Holding Each Other” gathering, Poet Ellen Blum Barish invites readers to see flowers in a new way and to draw on everyday objects to find their own creativity.

A field of white and pink flowers against a yellow sunset

Rabbi Haviva Ner David, an activist, writer and mother shares what life is like in Israel now and how she found the strength, after October 7, to return to interfaith solidarity work.  

Aerial shot of an Israeli city

Rabbi Deborah Waxman welcomes Cheryl Cook, CEO of Avodah, for a wide-ranging conversation about being women in leadership, justice work, allyship, parenthood and more.

Rabbi Deborah Waxman outside with trees behind her

March 22-23

Rabbi Seth Goldstein’s latest video gets us in the mindset for Purim, carries a poignant message and aims for a few laughs.

Blueberry bagel and grogger on a blue background

Think you know Purim? If you haven’t experienced the festive meal, you’ve missed half the zaniness and insight.

A large group of people in costume celebrating Purim at a table full of food

This stunning artwork and prose poem imagines what Vashti might have said to King Ahasuerus from the beyond the grave, a message with eerie resonance at a time when Jews are imperiled. 

Pencil sketch of a scene from the Purim story

Honor Vashti’s courage while getting this Purim earworm stuck in your head.

A woman dressed as Vashti in a tiara and blue flowing gown

March 15-16

We’re told that God doesn’t appear in the Book of Esther. But what if the Shekhinah — the kabbalistic, feminine presence of the divine — is embodied in Esther herself?

Purim tablescape

Spice up your Purim with two Iraqi Jewish deserts: savory Sambusak and sweet B’ab’a B’tamer.

Purim cookies

Rabbi Isabel de Konick addresses the loneliness epidemic and shares her rabbinate’s central purpose: to help people find connection and meaning.

lonely young women leaning her head against a window

Learn how rabbis can turn political conversations into pastoral moments, console suffering and ensure their communities are spaces of deep meaning — especially in wartime.

Rabbi with Torah

March 8-9

What started as a sermon about the stigma of mental illness grew into a mental health task force fostering wellness, serving as an example of how Reconstructionist Judaism works in practice. (Scroll to the bottom of the page at the link to watch the video.)

woman on a couch curled up with her head in her hands

Commissioned in honor of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association’s 50th anniversary, this collection of seven essays by clergy explores the rabbinate’s history, challenges and opportunities.

A diverse group of rabbis praying together

Writer Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer shares a poem and writing prompt that invites us to process loss and appreciate the presence of those who anchor our lives.

Screenshot of Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer reciting a poem

Rabbi Alex Weissman examines an episode from Talmud and what it says about our tradition’s complicated relationship with both misogyny and female empowerment.

Woman with wavy hair outside during golden hour

March 1-2

Poet Darcy Graberstein describes how a billboard on a New Jersey highway brought emotions to the surface regarding October 7 and the hostages remaining in Gaza. And she provides a writing prompt: How are you filling your void, right now?

Screenshot of Poet Darcy Graberstein reciting her poem

Here’s a song and a prayer that’s both a call for justice and a desperate longing to bring the hostages home

Aerial view of a city in Israel

Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer shares how making mistakes taught her valuable lessons in interfaith solidarity work.

Close up of a group of raised clasped hands

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman discusses the first 50 years of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association and the challenges of being a rabbi after October 7.

Rabbi Elyse Wechterman at the Edmund Pettus Bridge

February 23-24

Poet Tzivia Gover recites “The Word is Wind” and offers a writing prompt guaranteed to spark creativity.  

Screenshot of video of Poet Tzivia Gover

Israeli Peace activist Haviva Ner-David shares a moving meditation on death and life during wartime.

Cemetery plot with Hebrew writing on the headstone

The blessing celebrates how a bimah ramp can eradicate a physical barrier to connecting more deeply with Torah and Jewish community.

Interior of a synagogue sanctuary with a red carpet and dark wooden seats

Humans have agency over our lives, right? Not according to Mike Shore, who argues that abandoning the notion of free will leads to a more liberated, meaningful life.

Woman with her eyes closed and her arms out smiling in the middle of a field

February 16-17

Learn how Reconstructionist community sustained Rabbi Asher Sofman and about the values that animate Reconstructing Judaism’s new Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) program coordinator.

Screenshot of Rabbi Asher Sofman

Accordion in hand, Rabbi Solomon Hoffman talks about the relationship between waiting and hoping and offers an original take on Psalm 130.

Screenshot of Rabbi Solomon Hoffman

Prompted by a comment by a presidential contender, Rabbi Sandra Lawson articulates her profound connection to the side of American history encompassing the Atlantic Slave Trade, Jim Crow and the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Reconstructing Judiasm rabbis of various races together in Selma, Alabama

This berakhah celebrates the autistic mind as something “wonderful and unique in the world.”

Person with their arms open in a field silhouetted against a yellow sky

February 9-10

This new blessing celebrates the diversity of minds, bodies and abilities present in human beings.

symbols of people holding hands in front of horizon

During Ritualwell’s weekly virtual “Holding Each Other” gatherings, author Evonne Marzouk reads her poem, “Things I Need to Hear Right Now After Nine Days in Jerusalem.”

photo of author Evonne Marzouk

Rabbi Sandra Lawson’s new blessing offers thanks for the “strength, resilience and contributions of my people, Black people throughout history and today.

family sitting at park

Black History Month is the perfect time to consult our groundbreaking curriculum on the intersection of Judaism and race.

diverse group of young people

February 2-3

Karen Webber, a poet and performance artist, enacts and, at times, sings, two linked poems, “No Cakewalk” and L’chaim” that mine the emotional depths, describing horror with pinpoint detail and, somehow, bringing us back to the light with a jubilant wedding celebration.

screenshot of Karen Webber, a poet and performance artist

Rabbi Asher Sofman, Reconstructing Judaism’s inaugural justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) program coordinator, created this trove of resources in Jewish disability and accessibility inclusion from Reconstructionist communities and the larger Jewish world.

Black man signing in American Sign Language with a little white boy in a living room

Rabbi Roni Handler chants the Ve’ahavta, while Rabbi Darby Leigh expresses one of Judaism’s central prayers in American Sign Language.

Rabbi Roni Handler and Rabbi Darby Leigh

From our archives: Rabbi Elliot Kukla describes how the disability justice movement honors the “the unique ways we move through the world, and rejects racist, conformist notions of normalcy in how we ought to look, behave and produce. 

Child and adult hands holding a purple ribbon against a purple background

January 26-27

The Torah tells us that a human being is like a tree in the field, and this meditation encourages us to envision ourselves as planted by the divine.

Black woman meditating outdoors

Scholar, rabbi and lawyer Jay Michaelson talks about his first book of fiction — which tackles queerness and mysticism — and his postOct. 7 journalism for the Forward and Rolling Stone.

Close-up of the Pride and trans flags

During a Ritualwell “Holding Each Other” virtual gathering, Rabbi Joshua Boettiger offers writing prompts that ask us to investigate the stories that different parts of our bodies may be telling us.

Screenshot of Rabbi Joshua Boettiger reciting the poem “Inventory” by Dorianne Laux

Not all disabilities are readily visible and apparent. This prayer asks that all those who live with less visible disabilities realize the expansiveness of their gifts.

Person silhouetted against a cloudy pink background

January 19-20

Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein explains how “new year for trees” helps explain Reconstructionist approaches to Jewish practice and celebration.

Person planting a tree in an open field

During Ritualwell’s weekly “Holding Each Other” program, artist Betsy Teutsch recounts the process of illustrating the Reconstructionist prayerbook, sharing some light during a dark time.

A prayerbook with pink and purple flowers

Learn the basic history and theology of Tu B’Shvat from this excerpt from “A Guide to Jewish Practice.”

Dishes of food such as nuts, dates, pomegranates, and dried fruit

This Tu B’Shvat ritual explores the kabbalistic symbolism of the number four.

Three people meditating

January 12-13

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s landmark 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech is set to traditional haftarah melodies, adding a new layer of meaning to King’s prophetic words.

Martin Luther King, Jr. giving a speech

At Ritualwell’s weekly “Holding Each Other” gathering, poet Hila Ratzabi reads the title piece of her debut collection and offers a prompt to spark creativity.

A field of green grass with trees in the distance and a cloudy sky

Revisit this conversation — the most downloaded Hashivenu episode ever — between Rabbi Deborah Waxman and Rabbi Sandra Lawson about what it means to be an ally to groups and individuals.

Rabbi Deborah Waxman and Rabbi Sandra Lawson

Have you ever struggled to explain racism to your kids? Flubbed conversations at the dinner tableThen be sure to catch our conversation with Buffie Longmire-Avital, Ph.D.

a multicultural group of small children

January 5-6

Rabbi Toba Spitzer examines a core teaching of Reconstructionist Judaism, the rejection of the idea of Jews as the chosen people and explains why it’s more relevant than ever.

Light filtering through the trees in a deciduous forest

Rabbi Megan Doherty shares that, in rereading the Torah every year, we encounter old friends and acquaintances as well as life’s range of highs and lows.

A magnifying glass lying over a sheet of paper

Rabbi Jeremy Schwartz delves into Lecha Dodi and what the 16th century poem tells us about Shabbat and the possibilities for repair and wholeness.

Two white candles, lit, in silver candlesticks

Tayla Jankovits’ poetic response to war looks for signs of living and endurance.

The back of a figure shrouded in black against an orange sky

December 29-30

Rabbi Amy Eilberg addresses feelings of pain, anger and hopelessness that many of us have experienced during wartime. This podcast episode is about how individuals might seek healing and, maybe, how Jewish communities can address trauma to become healthier

Aerial view of a city in Israel

Focusing intention on courage of all kinds, Rabbi Shelly Barnathan chants Mi Shebeirach, asking for all of us to experience the renewal of body and spirit

Video still of Rabbi Shelly Barnathan singing Mi Shebeirach

Sheila Peltz Weinberg describes a spiritual path that leads to happiness and has the potential to reconnect us to our pure souls.

Sunlight filtering through trees in a forest

Poet and painter Cathleen Cohen covers her figurative canvas with an ode to nuance, love and kindness.

Watercolor still life of a cup holding a flower, a bucket, and a bowl

December 22-23

Rabbinical student Talia Werber reads her poem that touches on how the lights of Hanukkah can inspire and sustain us through a winter of darkness.

Screenshot of video with caption: RRC Student Talia Werber recites her poem, For Hanukkah, to Take Through the Winter

Learn about the growing awareness of the liberatory potential of Torah — and how rabbinical students are taught that Judaism and Torah are powerful, meaningful and guiding resources for movements.

Rabbinical students at RRC

Members of one congregation undertook a Reconstructionist process to fashion a statement on the war, providing a model for how to engage in the toughest of issues across vast political differences.

Temple door labeled Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation

Christmas is next week. This piece from the Ritualwell archives examines the December dilemma and how interfaith families might approach the holiday season.

Brass menorah

December 15-16

How do we celebrate a miracles and light when so many Israeli hostages remain underground, without access to sunlight? Rabbi Amber Powers offers a way, on the eighth night of Hanukkah, to hold pain and joy.

A metal menorah against a blue background with seven candles lit

Poet Ellen Blum Barish reminds us that oil from olives once helped us rededicate the temple, and so, too, do they bring light into our dark world.

Video screen still from The Offering of the Olives

In this poem, Rabbi Alex Lazarus-Klein shares both emotional anguish and his source of hope.

Video still from Banish Darkness, Bring the Light with a close-up of someone lighting white candles

Rabbi Alan LaPayover demonstrates how a Reconstructionist take on this medieval poem reframes our understanding of the “Festival of Lights.”

Video still from A Reconstructionist Maoz Tzur with Rabbi Alan LaPayover

December 8-9

In this message for the first night of Hanukkah, Rabbi Deborah Waxman illuminates the blessing of reciting blessings.

Rabbi Deborah Waxman with overlay text: Blessings of Candle Lighting

Marques Hollie, a Reconstructionist Rabbinical College student, shares that even in times of extended darkness, each day can bring light, if we just look for the miracles of right now.

Marques Hollie with a text overlay: The Miracle of Now

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer shares how she is using her creative spark to generate new light each day.

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer with text overlay: Exploring Our Creative Sparks

Hanukkah isn’t a time of hiding – it’s a time to let our light shine, teaches Rabbi Isaac Saposnik.

Rabbi Isaac Saposnik with the text overlay: Hanukkah is a Time of Miracles and Wonder

December 1-2

Martha Hurwitz’s stunning poem evokes the liturgy of the High Holidays in asking how and why some captives are freed while others remain, investigating, agony of weighing one life against another.”

A person holding out their hands

Add a new dish to your Hanukkah festivities by learning to make Aruk, Iraqi fried veggie patties.

Aruk, Iraqi fried veggie patties.

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann writes about a very personal situation, yet her message also applies to the state of the world: finding hope when there’s little to no evidence that things will soon improve.

Silhouette of a person leaping against a sky background

Laynie Solomon, passionate teacher of Torah, explains how they draw strength from the study of Jewish texts and how Halakhah can be liberating for Queer and Trans Jews.

The Trans Halakah Project

The Reconstructionist Network

Serving as central organization of the Reconstructionist movement

Training the next generation of groundbreaking rabbis

Modeling respectful conversations on pressing Jewish issues

Curating original, Jewish rituals, and convening Jewish creatives

The Reconstructionist Network