Reflections on Ritual and Prayer

From the desk of our Ritual Director Gordon Goldman

 

  • DEUTERONOMY AS A METAPHOR FOR GROWTH
    DEUTERONOMY AS METAPHOR     The book of D’varim (Deuteronomy) can be looked upon as a metaphor for personal growth. Let’s start with a look at Moses at the burning bush in Exodus, chapter 3. Moses has, rather impetuously, killed an Egyptian taskmaster and had to flee to Midian. Now he is tending his father-in-law’s sheep in ...
  • OBSERVING THE FAST DAYS
    THE FAST DAYS I was thinking about the rituals commemorating the humiliating defeat of Israel/Judea culminating with the destruction of the first and second Temples first by the Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BCE and later the Roman Empire in 70 CE. Our rituals concerning national calamity involve scriptural readings, changes to the prayer service ...
  • REFLECTIONS ON COUNTING THE OMER
    REFLECTIONS ON COUNTING THE OMER We are told in Leviticus 23:15-16 starting with the eve of the second day of Pesach, (when in temple times we are to bring an omer of barley as an offering) we are to count seven weeks, 49 days. The day after the end of seven weeks will make fifty days. ...
  •  CAN THERE BE JEWISHNESS AND SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT” GOD-CENTRICITY”
     CAN THERE BE JEWISHNESS AND SPIRITUALITY WITHOUT” GOD-CENTRICITY” (for DIH with love and respect)    The question arises “can I be spiritual and have a sense of connected Jewishness without stressing the primacy of God and a relationship with God? I have known proclaimed atheists who are still very spiritual people. I know secular, non-observant people who ...
  • OUR OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
    YOUR OWN RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD To me, a big part of religious involvement is developing and understanding a relationship with God. I understand that this is not necessarily true of everyone. I understand that there are people who feel a connection to, and who observe religious tradition without a deep sense of connectedness to God or ...
  • WHO BENEFITS FROM MOURNERS’ KADDISH
     WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF MOURNERS’ KADDISH?    There are several different versions of the statement we know as Kaddish. There is the full Kaddish, an abbreviated one we call Hatzi Kaddish, a longer Kaddish d’Rabbanan we say after Torah study and a couple of others. The best-known version, to most of the Jewish community, is ...
  • MEETING GOD HALF-WAY
    PERSONAL RESPOSIBILITY      There is an old joke. An old man is shaking a fist at God. He says “Dear Lord, I’ve been a pious man all my life. I observe the mitzvot. I am ethical and kind in my dealings with my fellow man. I pray regularly in shul. I have only asked one thing ...
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