‘Shabbat’ Category

Shabbat

April 15, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1385: Alertness is the Hidden Discipline of Familiarity

Reflecting on an On Being podcast featuring David Whyte... "Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity" - in "Everything is Waiting for You" by David Whyte Dear Hevreh, Imagine that noise has disappeared. You sit or stand without the reverberations of the world around you. Are you scared, elated, or confused by the weight of silence? We must imagine a world full of silence because our lives are not silent; they are a messy mixture of noise and actions. And even when there are opportunities to be still, we cannot. We mindlessly click on our phones when nothing else is going on, reflexively hoping to fill that silence some useful action. Yet what if we can find a way[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat
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Shabbat

January 28, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1305: Shabbatapalooza — An Awesome Experience

The folliowing is the first of three journal entries previewing this weekend's Shabbatapalooza activities... Dear Hevreh, The other day during a break in the action of a local hockey game, I mentioned to our esteemed Executive Director Elliot Rubin that no matter what we do at the shul to "jazz" up services, nothing can beat the awe, the drama, the magnitude of a major sporting event. I mean, have you ever heard the deafening sound of a horn blown at a hockey game? It can't even compare. Since then I've been thinking about the ways in which our senses are overwhelmed, enraptured, and awed by our experiences. And then I came across this video from the very interesting, modern philosopher Jason Silva.[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat Shabbatapalooza
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Shabbat

January 21, 2016
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1300 — The Joy of Skipping from Shul to Shul, from Home to Home

Reflection on last week's Friday night service and this week's upcoming storm... "דומה דודי לצבי" (שיר השירים ב:ט), מה צבי זה מדלג מהר להר מבקעה לבקעה מאילן לאילן ומסוכה לסוכה מגדר לגדר, כך הקב"ה מקפץ מבית הכנסת זה לבית הכנסת זה מבית מדרש זה לבית מדרש זה. כל כך למה? כדי לברך ישראל. - שיר השירים רבה פרשה ב "My beloved is like a gazelle" (Song of Songs 2:9), Just as a gazelle skips from mountain to mountain, valley to valley, tree to tree, and dwelling to dwelling, fence to fence, so too the Holy One Blessed Be He skips from this synagogue to that synagogue, from this house of study to that house of study. Why? In order to bless Israel. - Song[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat
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Shabbat

December 20, 2015
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1268: Shabbat of Shalom

(12/20/15), Reflection on Friday night's White Out Shabbat with the theme of "Peacefulness"... Dear Hevreh, Peacefulness is not a state of being, it's not a place in which we feel "at peace." Rather peacefulness is a mentality, a willingness to put our minds, bodies, and souls in the right position to feel at peace. This doesn't just happen. It's not like there's a simple breath meditation that will blow down the walls of anxiety that make us feel restless, full of worry, and concern. However through each breath meditation, each song we sing together, each conversation we have about trying to bring peace into our lives, the more likely we make peace possible. God is called oseh shalom, the maker of peace, but[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat White Out Friday Night
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Shabbat

October 16, 2015
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1203: Let Us Never Forget Thee O Jerusalem

"אם אשכחך ירושלים תשכח ימיני" -- טעם ימיני בעבור כנורותינו כי בימין נגון היתרים  - אברהם אבן עזרא על תהילים קלז:ה "If I forget thee O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither" -- The meaning of "right hand" has to do with [playing] our violins (or musical instruments) because you use your right hand to play the strings - Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra (12th Century, Spain) on Psalms 137:5   Dear Hevreh, If you've ever been to Jerusalem, you'll notice that there's music always in the air. It's not the kind you hear on the radio or in a beautiful sanctuary, but the kind you hear within your soul. It's music that's been playing since the moment God saved Isaac on the top of Mt. Moriah,[...]

Category : home Israeli News Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Services Shabbat
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Shabbat

August 14, 2015
By bethmordecai
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DAY 1140: How Facebook Made Our Minyan

(8/14/15), Dear Hevreh, I'm always trying to tinker with our Friday night and Saturday morning Shabbat experiences. It could be linking Adult learning with Tot Shabbat as we will do tomorrow morning, or it could bemeals at people's homes as we did in the Spring, or it could be a Family and Community Shabbat by the Sea experience like we'll have at the end of August, or it could be something as simple as having a dedicated Shabbat to celebrate people's smahot (special occasions). The goal is not just to change things up for the sake of change, but to find meaningful, interesting, and creative ways of connecting together as a community.[...]

Category : Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat Social Media
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Shabbat

June 2, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Shabbat


By bethmordecai
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DAY 1067: Outside the Box? Assessing “Let’s Do Shabbos Together: Shabbat Meals Across Beth Mordecai”

Dear Hevreh, The term "thinking outside the box" is one I find problematic. It's meant to describe someone who is creative in finding alternative ways to get things done, with the "box" symbolizing the way things normally get done. The first problem with this concept is that people or ideas labeled as "outside the box" are assumed to not care about "the box," i.e. about the usual way things get done. There is a reason why things "inside the box" have gotten done in a certain way for a long period of time. These things "inside the box" are called customs and the longevity of customs is a testament to the strength of their meaning and their usefulness. And when customs[...]

Category : Let's Do Shabbos Together Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat
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Shabbat

May 8, 2015
By bethmordecai
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Parashat Emor 2015/5775 (Triennial II) — Shabbat Appears Everywhere

Parashat Emor 2015/5775 (Triennial II) -- Shabbat Appears Everywhere Shabbat (the day of rest) is mentioned countless times in the Torah, including in this week's Torah portion of Emor (Leviticus 23:3). Why does this command appear so many different times? Isn't once enough? Today we will explore a number of places in which the Torah commands the Israelites to observe Shabbat. We will try to glean meaning from each instance using the interpretive principle of "smikhut parshiyot" (סמיכות פרשיות), which teaches us that the meaning of a text can be gleaned by understanding the context in which it is written. Please join us for this interesting class on the meanings of Shabbat!

Category : Online Learning Online Parashah Class Shabbat
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Shabbat

March 6, 2015
By bethmordecai
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DAY 979: Celebration Can Mean Different Things

Dear Hevreh, Tonight is Celebration Shabbat a chance for all of those celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, or other simhahs in March to come together in song, dance, and blessing. (Full disclosure: I will be one of the ones celebrating a birthday blessing tonight ;-) ). Yet, to be honest, every service is an opportunity to celebrate together. Whether it's checking in on our weeks or just enjoying the rituals of our tradition, there's nothing like coming together in community and celebrating our Judaism. But in addition to these joyous kinds of celebration, there is another critical kind of celebrationthat we experience every Shabbat service. It's the celebration of life through the recitation ofkaddish for a loved one. Yes, kaddish helps us grieve, and grieving is not something[...]

Category : Celebration Shabbat Rabbi Rabbi's Journal Shabbat
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