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Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: November 2021

November 26-27

Read: ‘An Evolving Thanksgiving’ 

Mordecai Kaplan created texts for the Thanksgiving table to make the family meal like a seder. Rabbi Fredi Cooper shows how her family’s Thanksgiving celebration became infused with a little Jewish spirit. Sourced from Ritualwell 

Thanksgiving dinner on a table


Watch/Listen: ‘The Sun Will Shine Again: A COVID-19 Musical Meditation’ 

Cantor Elizabeth Sternlieb brings a musical meditation to address the isolation of COVID-19. Remember to breathe and stay in the moment. Sourced from Ritualwell 


Read: ‘Tamar the Hidden’ 

“Maybe the Torah is really Tamar’s story,” Ellen Dannin proposes. “But for Tamar, there would be no Jewish people.” Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

Woman with curly hair in front of a dark background


Watch/Listen: ‘Now Is All We Have’ 

Written and performed by Beth Hamon, “Now Is All We Have” reminds us that “we are put here to be more than just ourselves.” Sourced from Ritualwell 


Read: ‘Transforming Our Unjust World and Personal Teshuvah: Considering Reparations for Slavery’ 

In this essay, Mark A. Pinsky considers the case for reparations from a Jewish point of view as an act of teshuvah. Sourced from Evolve: Groundbreaking Jewish Conversations 

Dictionary page with the definition of the word reparation


November 19-20

Read: ‘El Maleh Rakhamim’ for Victims of Climate Change 

With the close of the Glasgow Summit on Climate Change, we remember and pray with Rabbi Adina Lewittes for all who suffered and died from the effects of this international scourge. Sourced from Ritualwell 

Climate protest sign that reads Planet Over Profit


Watch: ‘Kein Yehi’ (‘May It Be’): A Song for Shabbat 

The song by Rabbi Moshe Heyn uses a 2017 commercial made for a social-media campaign in Canada that encourages people to eat together and share the blessings of neighborliness. Kein Yehi. Sourced from Ritualwell 


Read: ‘Bendigamos a la Vida’: A Humanistic ‘Birkat HaMazon’ 

The blessings recited after a meal are interpreted and rendered in Spanish and English by Martin Hasan. Sourced from Ritualwell 

Multicultural dinner on a building roof


Watch: Peoplehood and Community 

Rabbi Deborah Waxman, Ph.D., presents “Bringing Peoplehood to Life” at this year’s Global Day of Jewish Learning sponsored by Limmud North America. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 


Read: ‘Connecting the Dots’ 

“Did Jacob’s memory of his encounter with the Divine at Bet El — where he learned that God is in every space — give Jacob the ability to meet his brother with equanimity?” Learn what Ellen Dannin teaches about this fascinating parashah. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

Man at a window covering his face


November 12-13

Read: ‘Held in the Hold’ 

Leslea Haravon Collin’s poem is a commentary on box breathing — a meditative exercise that repeats the pattern of exhaling four beats, pausing four beats, inhaling four beats and pausing four beats, and a quotation of Rabbi Levi Yizhak of Berdichev. Sourced from Ritualwell 

Person meditating on a yoga mat


Read: ‘Prayer for the Glasgow Summit’ 

As the Glasgow Summit on Climate Change meets, poet Cathleen Cohen prays for its success in addressing the challenges of our endangered earth. Sourced from Ritualwell 

Person looking out onto a large body of water


Listen: ‘Circle of Love’ 

Rabbi Rayzel Raphael offers this is a four-part chant, which is based on the prayer Ahavah Rabbah, a great love. It is traditionally said before the Sh’maSourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

Rabbi Rayzel Raphael · Circle Of Love


Read: ‘Meeting Angels’ 

Rabbi Lewis Eron teaches that Jacob’s angels “are powerful spiritual agents who remind him that the choices he makes on earth have deep spiritual significance to his life and to the lives of those he loves.” Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

Dove flying through a blue sky


Watch/Listen: Dignity and Power: Exploring Shamta (‘Shunning’) 

Using a story from the Bavli (Babylonian Talmud), Rabbi Sarra Lev investigates the relationship of human dignity and the dynamics of power. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 


November 5-6

Listen: ‘Hashkivenu’

A setting of Hashkivenu, the evening prayer, by Lorenzo Valensi is performed by Lorenzo Valensi and Irwin Keller; Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

Congregation Ner Shalom · Hashkivenu


Read: ‘November Shabbat After Pittsburgh’

Two years after the Tree of Life shooting, we remember this tragedy with Sarah Stock Mayo’s poignant poem. Sourced from Ritualwell

bright orange leaves in dreary forest setting


Listen/Watch: ‘L’ma’an Tziyon’

L'ma'an Tziyon’, written by Drora Havkin and arranged by Charles Davidson, is performed by Nashirah, the Jewish Chorale of Greater Philadelphia, under the artistic direction of Julia Zavadsky. Sourced from Ritualwell 


Read: ‘Questioning Jacob’s and Rebecca’s Behavior’

Are our Torah ancestors perfectly virtuous role models or flawed human beings that we can relate to? Rabbi Shai Gluskin explores the question by examining Rebecca’s and Jacob’s actions towards Isaac and Esau. Sourced from ReconstructingJudaism.org 

young woman shrugging in question


Listen: ‘JewAsian’

Helen K. Kim, co-author of JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America's Newest Jews, discusses racism in the Jewish community and the rancorous debate over communal demography. Sourced from Hashivenu: Jewish Teachings on Resilience 


These resources were drawn from:


Previous Virtual Shabbat Boxes by month: 


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