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Virtual Shabbat Box Archives: November 2022

November 25-26

Performed by Dr. Koach Baruch Frazier and Marques Hollie for Reconstructing the Voice of Leadership: A Day of Giving to Support Jews of Color.

Dr. Koach Baruch Frazier and Marques Hollie performing a song

Terry Boyle’s poem takes off on Jacob’s dream of angels ascending and descending a ladder (Genesis 28:12-22).

Silhouette of a later extending toward a star-filled night sky

Rabbi Gila Colman Ruskin reconstructs the Thanksgiving celebration in her poem that bears witness to the experiences of the Wampanoag people of Massachusetts Bay.

Autumn leaves

Rabbi Deborah Glanzberg-Krainin teaches: “On Thanksgiving, I acknowledge all that I have and pray that we will all have more to be thankful for next year.”

People eating in front of a fireplace

Says Rabbi Hisda in the Talmud: “A dream not explored is like a letter not read.” This exercise, guided by Rabbi Haviva Ner-David, is an invitation to read our own messages to ourselves, brought to us in the form of our dreams.

Sourced from Reset, providing Jewish activists with accessible spiritual practice and teachings.

Four candles with shimmering lights

November 18-19

Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Hermann composed this prayer for the current election season, “so that democracy can work as it should, a holy exchange between the governing and the governed.”

Voters at a polling location.

Reconstructing Judaism commissioned two Black Jewish artists affiliated with the movement — Ayeola Omolara Kaplan and Marjorie Attingol Salvodon — to respond to last year’s Movement Wide Day of Learning on Reparations. Those works were installed on the walls of the Reconstructing Rabbinical College’s suburban Philadelphia building during a Sept. 7 program and made a part of its permanent collection.

Mural for the Movement Wide Day of Learning on Reparations featuring Jews of color

Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein leads this meditation based on the teaching of the Hassidic master, Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, that we should strive to make our relationship with the Divine more like that with a loving parent than like that with a king or sovereign.

A group of rocks positioned so the negative space creates a heart shape

According to Rabbi Lewis Eron, “by telling us so little about Abraham’s peaceful second life, our ancestors did not write Abraham out of the story but gave him and us the opportunity to explore the special blessings we can find as we live our second lives.”

A man walking through a historical site in Israel

Tiferet Welch’s prayer/poem reflects on the stories and themes of this week’s Torah portion, Hayyei Sarah.

A woman in a dress standing in a shallow lake

November 11-12

Shekhinah Speaks, by Joy Ladin, gives voice to the Divine Feminine by remixing language from the book of Isaiah and Cosmopolitan magazine. There Are Still Woods by Hila Ratzabi is an urgent, prayerful book of poems responding to the climate crisis and includes the voices of spirits, gods and goddesses from a variety of sources.

Cover image for Voices of the Divine Feminine, with speaker headshots over a field of flowers

Autumn becomes most evident during this month, which is celebrated in Ann Kanter’s sensual poem.

Close-up of colorful fall leaves

This “Essence” is taken from the Sourcebook for Leaders, written by Rabbi Rachel Gartner and Barbara Berley Melits, for Rosh Hodesh: It’s a Girl Thing, a program created by Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies to strengthen the Jewish identity and self-esteem of adolescent girls through monthly celebrations of the New Moon festival.

an autumn tablescape with a brown cloth and orange pumpkin

Rabbi Steven Nathan teaches that this story can serve as a warning to us today: The desire for wealth and security is a natural and healthy drive, but if we are not careful, it can overtake us and, in its extreme form, threaten us with economic and social destruction.

A $100 bill on fire

Deep belly breaths led by Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg connect us to nishmat kol hai, the “Breath of Life” that animates all creation.

woman with short hair with her eyes closed in a wooded area

November 4-5

Alexandra Corwin, a noted educator and organizer with Ashkenazi, Peruvian and Quechua heritages, will delve into why Jews of Color need affinity spaces and how such spaces can benefit all Jewish communities.

Title Card for podcast episode The Need for Affinity Spaces for Jews of Color

The Torah portion begins the saga of our ancestors. Amy Steingart’s poem evokes all of those who came before her.

Young woman with her eyes closed standing outside with mountains in the background

Rabbi Jonathan Kligler teaches that as Abraham’s spiritual journey continues, the commitment he makes to be vulnerable and open is going to allow himself and Sarah to conceive a child, to be vessels of life.

Silhouette of young woman meditating outside at sunrise

This experimental immersive theater piece by Logan Schulman uses music, stage directions and pointed narration to craft a soundscape that engages the listener’s heart and mind. Sourced from Reset, providing Jewish activists with accessible spiritual practice and teachings.

Soundcloud cover of Vanderning

We remember the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh with Shoshana Lovett-Graff’s poem, crying out for our silence to be heard in the sirens, the whistles, the echoes and the sighs.

A tree in the middle of a green field with a blue sky above

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