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Home » Virtual Shabbat Box » Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: March 2021

Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: March 2021

Phone screen with a green box and the words "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. Looking for Shabbat services? Check out Recon Connect for virtual Shabbat services and other live, online programs throughout the week.


March 26-27, 2021

As Passover begins this weekend, we invite you to explore our Virtual Passover Box. In addition, we bring you these resources for this Shabbat Hagadol preceding Passover.

Read: ‘Out of Egypt’

Tamar Stern offers this poem as a way to make space for mourning during the Passover seder. Sourced from Ritualwell

footsteps proceeding along top of sand dune in desert

Watch: Three Mizrahi Seder Traditions: From My Home to Yours

Adva Chattler shares three Mizrahi seder traditions: Hit them with the Greens, a Seder Quest for the First Born and Mizrahi haroset

bunches of scallions


Read: The Eternal Flame Within Us All

In her d’var Torah, Rabbah Arlene Berger teaches that “once our lives revolved around the Temple,” where the ner tamid/“eternal flame” burned continuously. “Today, our spirituality, our souls, live and die together based on the communities that we form and on the caring that we give to one another.” Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

flame against dark background


Watch: ‘Harofei’ — From Psalm 147

Solomon Hoffman and 100-plus people came together to create this second in a collection of Psalms to mark the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic declaration. The text, from Psalm 147:3-4, translates as: “The healer of the broken-hearted, renewer of their bones, the counter of the stars, who calls their names.” Sourced from YouTube.

Harofei - from Psalm 147


Listen: Judaism, Resilience and Racial Justice

Rabbi Sandra Lawson, new director of racial diversity, equity and inclusion for Reconstructing Judaism, discusses the complexities of engaging in racial justice work within the Jewish community. Sourced from Hashivenu: Jewish Teachings on Resilience

Hashivenu: Jewish Teachings on Resilience


Read: ‘To Pharoah’

A poem by Alicia Jo Rabins wonders “what makes it so hard to let our people go?” Sourced from Ritualwell

gold pharoanic face mask


Read: Havdalah Blessing Marking the End of the First Year of the COVID Pandemic

This blessing, written by Hila Ratzabi, was shared as part of “Refuah Shleimah: A Healing Ritual Marking One Year of Pandemic,” hosted by Ritualwell on March 11, 2021. Sourced from Ritualwell

singing group in circle with havdalah candle



March 19-20, 2021


As Passover approaches, this week we direct you to our Virtual Passover Box to help you prepare for the holiday. Enjoy!



March 12-13, 2021


Listen: ‘Arise My Darling’ (Song of Songs 2:10-13)

“For now the winter is past…” With Shabbat Unplugged, we anticipate the new life and the renewal of our lives that comes with spring. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

Arise My Darling (Song Of Songs 2:10-13) by Reconstructing Judaism


Read: Shed a Tear, Say a Prayer

On the one-year anniversary of the COVID pandemic, Suzanne Sabransky’s poignant poem is a prayer for each one we have lost and for all of us still here. Sourced from Ritualwell

Black woman at a vigil holding a memorial candle


Read: Hope as an Ethical Imperative

According to Barbara Breitman, “having faith in the power of an ethical/spiritual vision guides our action and activism towards revitalization, justice and compassion.” Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations

Sign at public protest reading "Fight today for a better tomorrow"


Watch: ‘Mussar’: It’s Not What You Think

While the mussar masters of previous generations are foundational points for a serious mussar study, the theology and practice of mussar in our contemporary landscape has been dynamic and evolving. Rabbi Joshua Boettiger explores examples of this and looks at one middah/“precept” in particular — anavah, or “humility.” Sourced from Recon Connect Beit Midrash

Recon Beit Midrash - Mussar - it’s not what you think


Read: Journeying from the Personal to the Communal

In his d’var Torah, Rabbi James Greene discusses the meaning of the word bayit (“house”) in the changing conception of the Israelites from a group of individuals into a people. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

hand-held photo pointing downward, showing legs and feet standing on wooden deck in front of a "home" welcome mat with a heart, and the bottom edge of an orange door in a pink frame



March 5-6, 2021


Read: ‘Hashkiveinu’ for Hope

Sarah Stock Mayo has adapted the traditional evening prayer for peace at night to speak more specifically to our contemporary cares and concerns. Sourced from Ritualwell

torso of person with hands clasped against chest


Listen: ‘Ufros Aleynu

The concluding line of the Hashkiveynu prayer, sung by Rabbi Liz Bolton, asks God to spread over us a sukkah of peace. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

Ufros Aleynu by Reconstructing Judaism


Read: Why Be Good?

In her reading of parashat Ki Tissa, Ellen Dannin finds an answer to the question: “If there is no afterlife to motivate us with its rewards, then why should we be good?” Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

multiracial group of volunteers handing out food and water to man in wheelchair with long gray hair, flannel shirt, baseball cap


Watch: A Taste of ‘Mussar’: Life as Spiritual Curriculum

Rabbi Linda Potemken explores ways we might use our life experiences as opportunities to develop positive character traits through the ancient practice of mussar. Sourced from Recon Connect Beit Midrash

Recon Beit Midrash - Taste of Mussar


Read: A Kaddish for 2020

Last year was a very hard year. Now that it has been behind us for a while, this kaddish by Rabbi Lily Solochek et al may help us to let it go and face this year with courage and hope. Sourced from Ritualwell

hundreds of yahrzeit candles, most burning, some extinguished, a few overturned


These resources were drawn from:


Previous Virtual Shabbat Boxes by month: 


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