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Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: March 2022

March 25-26

Read: ‘Let No Soul Be Forgotten: Vigil Prayer Marking Two Years of COVID’

We have lived with this worldwide pandemic for two years. Rabbi Annie Lewis marks this milestone with a prayer. Sourced from Ritualwell   
People holding lit candles at a vigil

Read: ‘Babi Yar ‘22’

Some of the complexities of our history and our world today converge in the intensity of this memorial poem by Sara Stock Mayo. Sourced from Ritualwell   
Lit tea light candles in a dark area

Watch/Listen: ‘Healing Niggun for Ukraine’

This Hebrew healing prayer, performed by Gabrielle Pescador, is from Numbers 12:13 and is set to the melody of a traditional Ukrainian folk lullaby, “The Dream Passes by the Window.” The Hebrew lyrics mean “God please heal her.” The harp music is an adaptation of an arrangement by Carol Kappus. Sourced from Ritualwell 

Listen: ‘Moments of Wholeness’

When our world falls apart, what sustains us? Rabbi Shira Stutman spoke in April 2020 at a time of profound global dislocation that affected our most personal connections. We discussed the challenges we faced, the adaptations we were beginning to make and the unexpected insights we glimpsed into what is truly essential. Sourced from Hashivenu: Jewish Teachings on Resilience 

Read: ‘Reunderstanding Jewish Historical Trauma: Moving From the River to the Watershed’

In her Evolve essay, Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg argues that Jewish history is not an unbroken sequence of suffering, culminating in the Holocaust. Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations 
A rushing river in a wooded area

March 18-19

Listen: ‘Everything Possible’

Fred Small’s contemporary classic song is perfect for blessing the children, after Shabbat dinner, or before bedtime. Sourced from Ritualwell  
young family playing on floor together

Read: ‘Purim: The Danger of a Single Story’

In this d’var Torah, Rabbi Elyse Wechterman teaches that Megillat Esther is an example of what can be missed when you look too quickly or too superficially at a story, and that we have an obligation to understand that the others with whom we interact have just as complicated, multiple narrative stories as we do. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org  
Hebrew text

Read: ‘Esther, the Mishkan and the Divine Miss M’

Why do we read about the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle) in the month of Adar? What does the Tabernacle have to do with Purim? Why is Hadassah called Esther? And why is Bette Midler referred to as “The Divine Miss M”? Rabbi Lina Zerbarini tells all. Sourced from Ritualwell
view of a tiled temple ceiling

Watch/Listen: ‘Dror Yikra’

Hadar Cohen teaches and sings the Sephardic melody for Dror Yikra, one of the standard Shabbat z’mirot (table songs). Sourced from Ritualwell  
paper heart on sheet music

Read: ‘Twin Milestone Mark a Century of Reconstructionist Innovation’

Now, in 2022, the twin centennial anniversaries of the founding of the first Reconstructionist synagogue, followed by the first bat mitzvah, are being celebrated by SAJ, the Reconstructionist movement and the wider Jewish world. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org  
Black and white photo of Mordecai Kaplan and his family in 1916

March 11-12

Read: ‘Prayer for Ukraine’

The people of Ukraine are in our hearts as we share Joanne Fink’s prayer. Sourced from Ritualwell 

Ukrainian flag in a forest

Read: ‘Blessing for My Daughter at Her Bat Mitzvah’

The anonymous author writes, “I wrote this blessing for my oldest daughter at her bat mitzvah. I made her tallit, and we tied the tzitzit together. When I presented it to her to wear on the bimah, I also gave her this blessing.” Sourced from Ritualwell. Learn more about the 100 years of bat mitzvah history!

A girl on her bat mitzvah holding the Torah

Listen: ‘U’Vacharta Bachayim’

Rena Branson sings with Rivka Tamar her song based on Deuteronomy 30:19. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

Read: ‘Amalek: Out There or In Here?’

On this Shabbat Zakhor, our society and world grapple with two kinds of enemies: We are confronted both by violent extremism driven by hatred and by the devastating impact of the pandemic on vulnerable communities. In this Torah study, Rabbi Michael Fessler helps us to see the challenges before us, remember the values embodied in these teachings, and be moved to action. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org

The sun setting over a rocky plain

Read: ‘The Right Side of History’

In his article, Richard Zimler teaches us that “the right side of history is always the side that has a memory.” Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations 

A group of round gray rocks

March 4-5

Read: ‘We See You: For Ukraine’

Hila Ratzabi’s poem voices aloud the prayers of our hearts at this most threatening time in our fragile world. Sourced from Ritualwell  
Ukranian people waiting on a bench for news

Read: ‘God Doesn’t Want Us to Hurt Ourselves’

Clare Griffin reminds us that “We are commanded not to harm ourselves, because for some of us that is a struggle.” Sourced from Ritualwell  
Black and white image of young woman with her head down

Listen: ‘Ki Le’Olam Chasdo’ 

This song, usually sung as part of Hallel, is a joyful rendering of the verse, “Give thanks to God who is good, whose hesed (lovingkindness) is everlasting.” Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org  
Soundcloud link to song

Read: ‘The Importance of Vision’

In the concluding portion of Exodus, we witness the formal dedication of the mishkan and the installation of Aaron and his sons as priests. Rabbi Jeffrey Schein teaches that “even if it will be left to future books of the Bible for the Israelites to reach their promised land, they now have a spiritual home that will accompany them throughout their journeys.” Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org  
Lightbulb with the light illuminated

Read: ‘From Brit Bat to Bat Mitzvah: How Love and Tradition Work Together’

How does an interfaith couple raising Jewish children create meaningful rituals that honor both partners’ heritage? This is a question that Dr. Keren R. McGinty asked herself when she became a parent and when she founded the Love & Tradition Institute. Sourced from Ritualwell. Learn more about the 100 years of bat mitzvah history!  
young woman with curly hair wearing a Star of David necklace

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Modeling respectful conversations on pressing Jewish issues

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