Posts Tagged: Prayer

Community. Prayer. Holiness.



By Rose Snitz As people gather and voices come together in harmony, the holiness of the space begins to form. From Shabbat services in local communities to regional Havdalah services, to closing rituals during the North American Convention, there’s always an unexplainable feeling of connection and community at NFTY events. Picture yourself overlooking a group […]

Read more

Knowing When it’s Time: A Response to Rabbi Rosalind Gold



La-kol z’man; v’eit l’khol khefetz takhat ha-shamayim…eit s’fod v’eit r’kod… (To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven…a time to mourn and a time to dance…) These words from Ecclesiastes 3, so familiar and widely affirmed to us in liturgy and in song, are nonetheless ignored in the common […]

Read more

Viddui: The Public Confession of Sins on Yom Kippur



By Rabbi Richard Sarason The most central liturgy of Yom Kippur is also perhaps, for moderns, the most problematic. How do we understand the words “sin” and atonement” that lie at the heart of the act of viddui, the public confession of sins that immediately follows the Amidah during each of the Yom Kippur services? Perhaps some historical […]

Read more

Kol Nidrei



By Rabbi Edwin Goldberg In Woody Allen’s Annie Hall, at the beginning of their first date, Woody asks Annie for a first kiss.  As he explains it, he knows both of them will be thinking about it all through the night so wouldn’t it be better to get it out of the way and then […]

Read more

Jerusalem District Court Rules on Women of the Wall



Leaders of the Reform Movement issued a statement today about a recent ruling from the Jerusalem District Court that determined that recent detention of Women of the Wall members for their activities at the Western Wall was unjustified and for denying local police requests for restraining orders against the group. Haaretz has more on the […]

Read more

Responding to Events in Boston



In the wake of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon, the Reform community continues to come together to offer prayers and hold special services. At urj.org/bostonmarathon, you’ll find resources for you and your community to cope with this tragedy, including resources on Jewish mourning, for use in the aftermath of a communal tragedy, and guidance […]

Read more

Talkin’ Worship



by Cantor Rosalie Boxt Man, I’ve been talking a lot. Hours and hours! More than usual, even (In grade school, I was called Ms. Butt-insky for chatting so much.) I don’t love talking on the phone and do not keep up by phone with as many friends as I should, but in the past three […]

Read more

Praying With Our Feet



I have been to the mountaintop and I can see the future of Jewish education. Take your shoes off, friend. We’re walking on holy ground and praying with our feet.

Read more

What Makes for Great Prayer?



by Rabbi Dan Medwin Last week, I was given a wonderfully challenging task as the CCAR rabbinic staff member at the NFTY Convention:  Take fifty participants from the Youth Engagement Conference and a two-hour prayer lab session, and plan multiple services for about 900 NFTY Convention participants.  While seemingly impossible, I jumped at the opportunity.   […]

Read more

Where Prayer is Spine-Tinglingly, Bone-Shakingly Inspiring



At home, we sometimes used to struggle to feed balanced meals to our three teenagers. Imagine trying to feed 1,000 as these Jewish teens sat together to for Shabbat dinner. And that was only the beginning. We are gathered at a hotel in Los Angeles for the NFTY Convention, perhaps the largest Jewish teen gathering […]

Read more

Reform Movement Dismayed by Continued Religious Discrimination in Israel



Last Friday morning, Israeli police detained four women as they prayed at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The group of 138 men and women was organized by Women of the Wall, an organization that fights for women’s right to pray freely, while donning prayer shawls and other religious articles, at the Western Wall. Among those […]

Read more

A Bracha for the Spouse Who Isn’t Jewish



by Rabbi Elias Lieberman Like many congregations within the Reform Movement, our community of 310 households has many interfaith families. Some 65% of the children in our education program have a parent who is not a Jew. In every case, however, these interfaith couples have made a decision to raise their children as Jews and […]

Read more

Am Chai: What Does It Mean?



by Rabbi Jen Gubitz What exactly does it mean that “Am Yisrael Chai” – the People of Israel live? Perhaps it is a song of joy and relief! The People of Israel Live – because there were times when our living, when our survival was unclear. Perhaps it is a refrain of power and dominion! […]

Read more

Re-Routing: Trying a New Pathway



Today I took a new route to work. It might seem like a simple thing. After all, I’ve been driving from the same house to the same synagogue for seven years (that’s how long we’ve lived in this house. I’m actually celebrating my 10th year at the synagogue!). But today I got a little lost. […]

Read more