Learn how the Momentum Campaign is reconstructing Judaism → 

Home » Virtual Shabbat Box » Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: October 2020

Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: October 2020

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.


October 30-31


Listen: Mizmor Shir l’Yom HaShabbat (Psalm 92)

Listen and sing this original melody for the Shabbat Psalm by Ann R. Silverman-Limor (aka Rahel). Sourced from Ritualwell

closeup of acoustic guitar being played by musician


Read: A DIY Shabbat Ritual for These Trying Times

For the end of a distressing week full of social unrest, an ongoing health pandemic and any other challenges we may individually be going through right now, Rabbi Ilanit Zietman offers a special way to begin this Shabbat. Sourced from Ritualwell

Shabbat candles, bottle of win, two wine glasses on table adorned with tea lights and decorative stones


Listen: Finding Good Points

This practice from Rabbi David Jaffe and based on teachings from Rabbi Nahman of Bratslav looks into finding the good in oneself and other people. Sourced from Reset

small yellow flowers growing out of crack in stone wall


Read: Now I Finally Get It — What George Floyd Has Taught Me

Rabbi George Stern teaches that “Black Lives Matter” is an insistent cry that it is far past time for America to acknowledge the sin of racism and to stop acting as if Black lives don’t matter. Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations

Crowd holding Black Lives Matter signs


Watch: The Melody and Meaning of Prayer in Time of Challenge

How does the combination of meaning and melody in prayers touch us spiritually? Rabbi Shelly Barnathan unpacks the meaning and melody of several prayers and chants, coupled with timely poetry and spiritual readings. Sourced from Recon Connect Beit Midrash

Bet Midrash - Melody of Prayer in Times of Trouble



October 23-24


Read: ‘Shabbat’

Welcome Shabbat with this poem by Terry Boyle. Sourced from Ritualwell

Table with wine bottle, kiddush cup, burning candles, covered challah


Watch: Three-Minute Musical Kabbalat Shabbat

Cantor Karen Webber leads a three-minute interpretation of the beginning of the Kabbalat Shabbat service. Sourced from Ritualwell

woman in tallit playing guitar


Read: Pandemic Ethics: Safeguarding Life

The Jewish imperative to protect human life — pikuakh nefesh — overrides almost every other obligation. As we face a desire to return to community activities and a surge in infections, the Center for Jewish Ethics offers thoughts on how we can express the ultimate value of safeguarding life in our individual and communal decisions. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

woman putting mask on boy with backpack


Read: ‘It Is Not Good for the Human to Be Alone’: Community Organizing as Spiritual Practice

Rabbi Alex Weissman teaches that not only does organizing have an impact on the outside world, power relations, and policies. It also shapes our inner lives and offers us the potential to cultivate a deeper spiritual awareness. Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations

Demonstrators holding sign "Fight today for a better tomorrow"


Watch: The Psalm for Shabbat: A Roadmap for Growing Older

We recite or sing Psalm 92 in services every Shabbat. The psalm expresses widely disparate moods and images — delight, satisfaction, despair and hope. Rabbi Dayle Friedman endeavors to see what we might learn about the journey of aging from the Psalmist’s words. Sourced from Recon Connect Beit Midrash

Psalm for Shabbat - A Blueprint for Growing Older - Bet Midrash - Dayle Friedman


October 16-17

Read: ‘Pandemic Shabbat’

As we continue to shelter in place, poet Cathleen Cohen describes the experience of Shabbat behind the mask. Sourced from Ritualwell

Two people sitting facing one another in lawn chairs, wearing face masks


Listen: Miriam’s Moon: A Shiviti Meditation

Rosh Hodesh Heshvan begins on motzei Shabbat (Saturday night), Oct. 17. Welcome the new moon/month with this chant by Batya Diamond. Sourced from Ritualwell

Moon in twilight sky with branches holding orange leaves surrounding it


Read: God’s Presence in All Things

Rabbi Danielle Parmenter describes her experience of the whole world being filled with God’s glory. Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations

man gazing into the distance of a wooded area


Watch: ‘The Art of Suffering’

Hila Ratzabi leads “The Art of Suffering,” a practice inspired by Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jewish writer, whose Holocaust diaries and letters reveal profound spiritual wisdom that is relevant to our times. Transcript available here.  Sourced from Ritualwell

Hila - Etty Hillesum Art of Suffering


Watch: Did You Ever Wonder Why Some Foods Are Traditional?

Discover why we eat certain foods in the Ashkenazi and Sephardi traditions for Shabbat and Sukkot with Rabbi Fredi Cooper. Sourced from Recon Connect Beit Midrash

Ever Wonder Traditional Food?


October 9-10

This week, we bring you a Virtual Simchat Torah Box.



October 2-3

This week, we bring you a Virtual Sukkot Box.


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