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Home » Virtual Shabbat Box » Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: April 2022

Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: April 2022

April 29-30

Read: A Prayer for Yom Hashoah

With Rabbi David Katz’s prayer, we mark Holocaust Remembrance Day (April 28) and remember all who perished in the Shoah. Sourced from Ritualwell  
Close up of a barbed wire gate

Watch: Esa Eynay in ASL: I Will Lift Up My Eyes

Rabbi Darby Jared Leigh and Rabbi Roni Handler demonstrate the song “Esa Eynay” (lyrics from Psalm 121:1–2) in ASL and Hebrew singing. Sourced from Ritualwell
Esa Eynay in ASL: I Will Lift Up My Eyes from Ritualwell .org on Vimeo.

Listen: The Smooth River: Finding Inspiration and Exquisite Beauty during Terminal Illness

Richard Cohen, a lawyer and Reconstructionist leader, joins Rabbi Deborah Waxman to discuss his book on reframing terminal illness after losing his wife to pancreatic cancer. Sourced from Hashivenu

Listen: Special Live Episode: Addressing Global Climate Disruption Through Torah

Recorded live from the B’Yachad: Reconstructing Judaism convention, Rabbi David Seidenberg discusses the idea of what if the central purpose of the Torah is to ensure that people live in harmony with the environment and other living things? Sourced from Evolve

Watch: Breath of the Shema

Practice this breathing meditation using the words of the Shema with Rabbi Shelly Barnathan. Sourced from Reset, providing Jewish activists with accessible spiritual practice and teachings
Breath of the Sh’ma from Reconstructing Judaism on Vimeo.  

April 22-23

Read: The Nature of Prayer

Suzanne Sabransky’s poem looks at the depths and layers of what we do when we pray. Sourced from Ritualwell woman in white dress standing outdoors, open hand on chest palm-inward  

Listen: ‘Arise, My Love’

This song, written by Alexander Massey, is taken from the words of the Song of Songs which celebrates love and is traditionally chanted every Friday night. Sourced from Ritualwell woman standing facing a window, turning to kiss another woman standing behind her  

Read: Open the Gates of Justice

Stacey Zisook Robinson’s alternate reading of Psalm 118 reminds us that sometimes our prayers can crack open gates that have been long rusted and chained. Sourced from Ritualwell gate chained shut with rusted padlock  

Love the Stranger as Yourself

The mitzvah to love the stranger as ourselves comes from next week’s Torah portion, Akharei Mot/Kedoshim. Rabbi Jonathan Kligler explains why Rabbi Akiva believed that this was the greatest of all the commandments. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org large public institutional building with large sign reading "refugees welcome" draped across its front  

Watch: Does a Golem Count in a Minyan?

The idea of a human-made artificial person is deeply rooted in Jewish tradition, and rabbis of old took it seriously in terms of Jewish law. Rabbi Jeff Sultar explores their questions that offer us much insight into some pressing issues of our day, such as artificial intelligence, the right to life and what distinguishes human beings from the rest of creation. Sourced from Recon Connect Beit Midrash File Beit Midrash: Does a Golem Count in a Minyan  

April 8-9

Read: ‘Today’s Shema: For the Victims of Terrorist Attacks in Israel’

Cyd Weissman leads us in prayer as we cry out for the recent victims of terrorism in Israel. Sourced from Ritualwell 

A person holding a lit candle near rows of other lit candles at a memorial

Read: ‘Nissan-Guided Meditation’

As Pesah approaches, we go on an inner and outer search for hametz — literally, that which has become sour, fermented, or leavened. Ilana Schatz offers a guided meditation to help with this process. Sourced from Ritualwell

A woman meditating outside with mountains in the background

Read: ‘Tzara’at and Selfishness’

Rabbi Howard Cohen teaches that the social issue underlying tzara’at is implied by its very name. And a midrash from the Talmud suggests that tzara’at is a punishment for selfishness. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

A blonde woman in a gray sweater looking somberly out a window

Read: ‘Safety Box’

Rabbi Chaya Gusfield’s poem begins, “After the vaccine, we slowly begin to engage in a list of ‘safer’ activities, previously postponed.” Sourced from Ritualwell

Close up on a box of old photographs

Listen: ‘Wrestling God and the Healthcare System’

It was not easy for Jennifer Janes to find faith after years of chronic illnesses. But this spiritual hospice social worker from San Antonio has used Judaism as a guide to help others in difficult times. Find out how someone raised as a nominal Christian finds a Jewish path in the middle of Texas. Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations 


April 1-2

Read: ‘A Kavanah for Nisan: Finding the First Fruit Tree in You’

Devon Spier’s poem offers a kavanah for the beginning of Nisan, a time of birth, newness and renewal. Sourced from Ritualwell

A woman in a wide brimmed hat picking blueberries

Read: ‘Birth of Humility’

In his d’var Torah, Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben teaches that “with the miracle of birth comes a sudden awareness of our own mortality, a deep appreciation for the everyday miracles that we so often take for granted and an intense desire to express our gratitude for the blessings and spiritual gifts we have been given.” Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

A woman of color cradling her baby in a chair

Read: ‘Reconstructing Gatherings for a Hybrid World’

As Reconstructing Judaism’s Convention has come to a successful completion, Rabbi Deborah Waxman’s reflections on the first movement gathering in 1942, 80 years ago, seems particularly relevant. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

A hybrid gathering between people in person and people on a screen

Listen: ‘The Jewish Camping Brand’

For parents and kids, it’s not too early to start thinking about summer camp! In this Evolve podcast, Jeremy Fingerman, CEO of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, shares his journey from corporate executive to building the collective brand of Jewish day and overnight camps. Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations 

Read: ‘Essence of Nisan

These things you should know about the month of Nisan are taken from the Sourcebook for Leaders, written by Rabbi Rachel Gartner and Barbara Berley Melits, for Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing! Sourced from Ritualwell 

A tambourine painted with a dancing scene and Hebrew lettering

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