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

Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: July 2022

July 29-30

Martha Hurwitz created this prayer as a member of a very small synagogue with just a few children. Most of the parents seemed uncomfortable when the rabbi initiated a ritual for them to bless their children, so she thought it would be more comfortable if everyone joined in.

A multi-ethnic family with two parents and a little girl smiling

Sarah Schmerler offers this art project for the Nine Days, a period of semi-mourning observed by religious Jews that begins on Rosh Hodesh Av and culminates in a full fast day known as Tisha BAv.

Letter blocks spelling "TISHA B'AV"

The final portion of Bamidbar, Mas’ey or Journeys, begins with a lengthy recounting of every encampment to which the Children of Israel sojourned during the past 40 years. Looking at the names of these places, Rabbi Jonathan Kliger notes that they are heavy with symbolism: Are they real places or states of being?

A woman in a yellow jacket and brown hat walking down a road with green fields on either side

Rabbi Benjamin Weiner explores the ways that traditional Hebrew prayers can provide meaningful spiritual experiences for those who neither understand Hebrew nor believe in a God who hears and responds to our prayers.

bare trees under a dark blue sky

Claudia Horwitzs lifes work has focused on integrating spiritual practice with the work of social change. In this conversation, she shares the strains that socialjustice work can inflict on activists and articulates the importance of deep inner work in anchoring and sustaining individuals and groups in their work of tikkun olam.

Cover of the podcast episode The Spiritual Activist

July 22-23

Begin Shabbat with Maia Conrad’s prayer to mark the holiness of this moment.

Shabbat candles, challah, and wine on a wood table

Rabbi David G. Winship prays,May our courts, our places of power, our streets fill with those who know the price, and who will make change.”

Trees at sunset

According to Rabbi Richard Hirsh, this week’s portion asserts that “the Torah teaches that transitions are inevitable and that the key is to manage them in ways that support continuity, involve the consent of the community, and demonstrate the willingness on the part of the departing leader to support the new leader.”

A multicultural group of people in a conference room

Legal scholar, philosopher and policy analyst Nathalie Smuha delves into Jewish philosophy to better understand how society can respond to artificial intelligence.

Stylized image of a woman behind translucent computer screens

Rabbi Alex Weissman suggests that going beyond the notion of b’tzelem Elohim and diving into the Jewish legal questions that animate the lives of LGBTQ+ Jews could open doors for maintaining a relationship with halakhah.

person holding a Pride flag

July 15-16

Heather Paul’s Kaddish offers words of comfort alongside the struggles of a heart in pain.

Two people in dark clothing from the back, one with their arm around the other

Despite a world full of pain and evil, Trisha Arlin can still pray to see its wholeness and goodness. May we be able to share her prayer.

Close-up of the petals of a yellow flower

Rabbi Armin Langer explains that Judaism has traditionally maintained a far more diverse approach to gender expressions than Christo-normative “Western” societies have.

paper with binary code

What happens when a rabbi and a spiritual seeker carpool to work, stick a camera on the dashboard, and invite the world to watch? You get “Carpooling with Rabbi, a 36-part YouTube series. Rabbi Seth Goldstein and Kirsten relay the power of talking and the challenge of driving safely while discussing weighty philosophical topics.

Cover image for TrendingJewish 4: Carpooling with Rabbi

Rabbi Toba Spitzer discusses her just-published book, God Is Here: Reimagining the Divine, with Rabbi Nancy Fuchs Kreimer and Rabbi Jacob Staub.

Slide from virtual panel on God Is Here: Reimagining the Divine

July 8-9

To help us fully appreciate the food that sustains us, read Debra Smith’s intention to precede eating.

White woman with long hair smiling and eating pasta

This guide, prepared by Madison Emmanuelle Slobin and Cantor Shira Stanford Asiyo, will walk you through various Shabbat rituals and teachings to understand this weekly holy day.

Illustration of a woman with Shabbat candles

In her d’var Torah on parashat Hukkat, Rabbah Arlene Berger offers some clues to what we can learn from Miriam’s death and how the Israelites react to it. 

A man and a woman crying and hugging

When times are hard, we often question the value of prayer. Sara Stock Mayo’s prayer helps to nudge us back to a meaningful path.

Close-up of a person's open hands

Rabbi Leiah Moser has two passions: studying Talmud and composing electronica music. In this conversation, Bryan Schwartzman and Rachael Perice (nee Burgess) uncover the links between Jewish tradition and funky modern music. 

Cover art for podcast: #TrendingJewish 1: It Sounds Like Judaism In Space

July 1-2

Rabbis Roni Handler and Darby Leigh perform the Shehekheyanu blessing in American Sign Language, with a melody by Tzvika Pik.

Rabbis Roni Handler and Darby Leigh perform the Shehekheyanu blessing in American Sign Language

Rabbi Elizabeth Bolton suggests that the story of Korah’s rebellion against Moses in this week’s parashah, complex though it may be, offers a simple teaching about our basic freedom to challenge authority and redress injustice wherever we may find it.

Natural ditch with trees and mountains in the background

This ritual, created by the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) can be used as a space for your community to mourn, sing, pray, connect, unite and separate what we knew from what we now know.

Silhouette of person's head with single lit candle

On this 246th Independence Day, as we ponder the state of our nation, why not reacquaint ourselves with the document on which the American experiment began?

Printed copy of Declaration of Independence with quill and ink

David Lubell, founder and Executive Director of Welcoming America, discusses what brought him to Ecuador, how we’ve unwittingly taught our children to fear the other and why he’s dedicated his professional life to making America more welcoming to immigrants.

#TrendingJewish 9: Welcoming the Stranger

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