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Ritual and Liturgy

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Rabbi Toba Spitzer explores the obstacles to prayer posed by stale language about God, and suggests new language that may ease our way in finding connection.

The story of Temple Emmanuel's ongoing exploration of Reconstructionist liturgy, and the rich conversations the process has opened up.

Rabbi Shelly Barnathan, the 2017 Launch Grant recipient, is busy creating a co-constructed network of baby boomers and empty nesters, a commonly-overlooked generation within the Jewish community. Her project, Or Zarua, features "holy conversations" over coffee and musical Shabbat dinners.

Meditative interpretation of Psalm 27.

D'VAR TORAH
Leviticus 16:1-34; 18: 1-30

Kavvanah written for Yom Kippur services at the Lincoln Memorial, 2015. 

Yom Kippur, Ritual and Liturgy
D'VAR TORAH
Genesis 21:1 – 22:24

Kavvanah for shofar blowing on the High Holidays

This ritual invokes the blast of the shofar to articulate the plight of refugees. It was created for use at High Holidays in response to the presidential travel ban.

This alternative Amidah was used during mincha prayers by members of the Reconstructionist Rabbinic Association outside of an Immigration Processing Center in order to call attention to the plight of immigrants and underscore the importance of the Jewish obligation to welcome the stranger. 

Rabbi Brant Rosen's poem responds to Psalm 79, challenging us to welcome the stranger even, and especially, in uncomfortable ways.

This excerpt from The Guide to Jewish Practice explains the practices associated with Tisha B'Av.

This lesson helps children and adults delve into the meaning and feeling of the Hashkiveinu prayer.
Hebrew text of the services found in the Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Veḥagim prayer book.

Fuller Aleynu prayer for Siddur Kol Hano'ar

This audio program, recorded in 1998, offers an overview of the structure, development and religious meanings of the haggadah and the Passover seder.

A recording of  the Reconstructionist text of the Kiddush prayer for the Passover seder.

Pesakh, Music, Ritual and Liturgy

The phrase "Next year in Jerusalem" occurs at the end of every Passover seder. This piece suggests ways to use that phrase as an entry point to a deep educational experience. 

Pesakh, Israel, Ritual and Liturgy

This distance learning conference call explores the dynamics of worship and the human impulse to pray, some of the deep structures of Jewish prayer services, and specifically Reconstructionist liturgy.

Yigdal, one of the most beloved of the medieval piyyutim (liturgical poems) summarizes the thirteen principles of the Jewish faith as formulated by Moses Maimonides (RaMBaM; late 12th century C.E.). Reconstructionists often proudly assert that when we pray with a Reconstructionist siddur, we feel that we can 'say what we mean and mean what we say,' because our liturgical language reflects Reconstructionist theology. How might a Reconstructionist interpret the words of Yigdal in this way?

This is a short Passover reading that expresses appreciation for people of backgrounds and identities other than Judaism. It would work well in a community seder, as well as home seders. 

Prayers and resources for discussion following the November 2016 Presidential election in the United States.

A child of Holocaust survivors, Rani Jaegar composed a yizkor prayer for Righteous Gentiles that is unique and breaks new ground. It tells the story of those who saw suffering and knew how to find their humanity. It remembers that “righteousness is an everlasting foundation” that breaks boundaries.

Reconstructionist prayerbooks use an altered version of the blessing before reading Torah. We affirm Torah as our unique and precious Jewish vehicle for connection with the divine, while avoiding implications of superiority over other peoples and religions. 

This lesson, for use with Siddur Kol Ha'Noar, helps acquaint children and adults with the idea and practice of Shabbat.

Wine is the traditional vehicle for prominent Jewish ritual moments. At the same, Jewish communities contain people who struggle with alcohol.  Rabbi Richard Hirsh outlines simple steps to recognize and support all in a community who wish to participate. 

Rabbi Alan LaPayover (RRC '02), recorded the prayers of the Reconstructionist liturgy for the High Holiday services. The sound files are available for listening and download from links on this page.

Prayer For The State Of Israel from Kol Haneshamah: Shabbat Vehagim, the Shabbat and Festival siddur of the Reconstructionist Movement

Israel, Ritual and Liturgy

Prayers written for insertion into Aids Awareness Shabbat services

Sheet music for a new setting of the traditional Friday night Lecha Dodi prayer.

Music, Shabbat, Ritual and Liturgy
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