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

Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: May 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.

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May 28-29


Listen: ‘Hinay Ma Tov’ (Psalm 133)

Ann R. Silverman-Limor (aka Rahel) sings her upbeat and funky kind of rhythm version of this old favorite: “Isn’t it good, isn’t it fine to come together as one (people).” Sourced from Ritualwell

woman in blue tallit with guitar


Read: For the Return of Peace

In the words of Alden Solovy, we pray in the name of the children “so that all may live in the fullness of Your gifts as one family on earth.” Sourced from Ritualwell

section of Old City of Jerusalem walls against orange-tinged sky


Read: To the Soldier, To the Veteran

On this Memorial Day, Alden Solovy’s poem honors all those we remember for their service. Sourced from Ritualwell

Black man in military uniform and cap standing in profile against American flag


Watch: How to Say the Jewish Blessing Over Children on Shabbat

It’s a sweet and special custom in Jewish communities to bless your children on Friday nights before Shabbat dinner. Here’s how. Sourced from Ritualwell

man hugging two children


Read: Jacob Staub’s Impact on Reconstructionist Rabbinical Education

On the occasion of the retirement of Rabbi Jacob Staub, Ph.D from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Dr. Elsie Stern, vice president for academic affairs, shares these words of tribute. Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations

Jacob staub at podium smiling and surrounded by balloons


Read: Are We There Yet?

Rabbi Jonathan Kligler teaches parashat Beha’alotekha as a tri-level story of a family, political leadership and our own spiritual journeys. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

orange jeep driving through desert with luggage carrier on top and passenger sitting halfway out of a window, pointing ahead



May 21-22


Read: The Smoke Has Not Cleared: A Prayer for Peace

With Hila Ratzabi’s words, we ask God to make peace for us “because we can’t seem to stop ourselves from one last act of retaliation, one last war, one last argument to win.” Sourced from Ritualwell

Old city of Jerusalem with violet cloudy sky overhead


Read: Rededication

In her poem, Sarah Stock Mayo reminds us that “we are still here; rededicating is a true act of resistance. We can claim something over and over again as a form of sacred return.” Sourced from Ritualwell

burning hanukkah candles


Watch: Gratitude: A Transformative Virtue

Gratitude is central to Jewish spirituality. In this current period of stress and uncertainty, focusing on gratitude can help us to recenter and re-energize. Rabbi David Teutsch explores some of the Jewish resources that can aid us in bringing our gratitude to the fore. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

Recon Beit Midrash: Gratitude - A Transformative Value - Teutsch


Read: Cultivating Trust: God Supports All Those Who Fall

Rabbi Jacob Staub teaches that “even though you’re on a cliff, even though it feels dangerous to bring to mind those secret parts that are hidden, someikh Adonai lekhol hanoflim — God supports all those who stumble, all those who take risks, all those who fall.” Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations

a jumble of 35 millimeter slides


Listen: Environmental Justice and Racism

In this podcast, Rabbi Rebecca Richman addresses how the Torah can help us conceive of environmental justice and identify environmental racism in a world that seems spinning out of control.” Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations

overhead view of power plant with reaction vessel emitting steam



May 14-17


As the holiday of Shavuot begins on Sunday night, May 16, we invite you to explore this year’s Virtual Shavuot Box, as well as our Shavuot Box from 2020.



May 8-9, 2021


Read: Finding Light for Shabbat

Rabbi Jen Gubitz’s poem reflects on all the possibilities that the light of the Shabbat candles has to offer us. Sourced from Ritualwell

group holding hands around Shabbat table with candles and wine visible


Listen: Omer Day 42: Simi Shalom

When we ask God as Yesod, the Divine Giver, to bless us, we must also ask ourselves to bless God as Shekhinah, the Divinity that is the World and One Another. Rabbi Hannah Spiro composed and sings this blessing. Sourced from Ritualwell

figure on beach standing facing brilliant sky with light reflecting off water


Read: Prayer for Those Lost at Mount Meron

With the words of Rabbi Annie Lewis, we mourn those who died in the tragedy of this past Lag B’Omer. Sourced from Ritualwell

many yahrzeit candles burning in a darkened room


Read: Land

In this d’var Torah from our archives, Rabbi Richard Hirsh discusses the important connection between the idea that the land is ultimately God’s, and the idea that every 50 years, at least, servants are given the opportunity to be set free. Both rules testify to the unique vision of God and of humanity that the Torah seeks to establish. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

aerial view of farmland and roads


Watch: Human Sacrifice in Ancient Israel and Beyond Through Jesus to the Crusades

Rabbi George Driesen discusses Professor Jon Levenson’s provocative and troubling book, The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved Son, as grist for interfaith dialogue at Passover/ Easter Time. Sourced from Recon Connect Beit Midrash

Recon Beit Midrash - Human Sacrifice in Ancient Israel and Beyond


Listen: Ein Od: ‘There Is No Other’

Yosef Goldman’s composition draws on the final line of the Aleinu prayer: “Bring to your heart the knowledge that Adonai is God, there is no other, nothing without. One  — Adonai is One, and Your Name is One.” Sourced from Ritualwell

Rabbi Yosef Goldman singing into microphone in front of wooden ark in synagogue


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