Prayer Subscribe

A selection of initiatives, blogs, resources and communities on Jewcology which focus on prayer.


Blogs

The Urban Adamah Fellowship Now Accepting 2014 Applications

Connect to Something Bigger: Earth, Community, Social Justice, Jewish Spirituality The Urban Adamah Fellowship, based in Berkeley, CA, is a three-month residential training program for young adults (ages 21–31) that combines urban organic farming, social justice training and progressive Jewish learning and living within the setting of an intentional community. Through the operation of Urban Adamah’s one-acre organic farm and internships with social justice organizations, fellows gain significant skills, training and experience in all aspects of ...

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Yom Kippur and Vegetarianism

There are many connections that can be made between the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur and vegetarianism: 1. On Yom Kippur, Jews pray to the "Living God", the "King Who delights in life," that they should be remembered for life, and inscribed in the "Book of Life" for the New Year. Yet, typical animal-based diets have been linked to heart disease, stroke, several types of cancer, and other chronic degenerative diseases, that shorten the lives of over a million Americans annually. 2. On Yom Kippur, Jews pray to a "compassionate ...

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Why Perform a Rite That Kills Chickens as a Way to Seek God’s Compassion?

During the ten-day period starting on Rosh Hashanah and ending on Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, Jews seek God's compassion and ask for forgiveness for transgressions during the previous year so that they will have a happy, healthy, peaceful year. Yet, many Jews perform the rite of kapparot (in Ashkenazic Hebrew kappores or in Yiddish, shluggen kappores) in the days before Yom Kippur, a ritual that involves the killing of chickens. Kapparot is a custom in which the sins of a person are symbolically transferred to a fowl. First, selections from Isaiah 11:9, Psalms ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 5 – Journey to a Mountain Pond

by Rabbi Katy Z. Allen The word makom in Hebrew means place, or space, but it has also come to be a name of G!d. Some places take on more significance in our lives than others. They touch us more deeply, or are associated with significant memories. For me, one of these is a place I have come close to, but have not yet seen with my own eyes. Yet just through proximity, it has touched me deeply, shifting something in my soul. The name of the place is Gamawakoosh, but you cannot find it on a map. ...

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Earth Etude for Elul 4 – Rainbows

by Rabbi Margaret Frisch Klein “Red and yellow and pink and blue, purple and orange and green. I can sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow tune.” There are many songs about rainbows. This is one that I learned at Girl Scout Camp many years ago. Since that summer rainbows have had a special place in my heart. Learning the story of Noah in a parshat hashavua class in college was one of those moments. In order for there to be a rainbow, there has to be a perfect balance between sun and rain. Without ...

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Earth Etude for 3 Elul – Paying Attention to Roots

by Maxine Lyons Being a passionate gardener, I have been tending several gardens in my yard as well as many flower pots on our large deck so my hands are in dirt quite often these days. I have been transplanting yellow primroses, succulents, day lilies and sunflowers, focusing on the integrity of the roots, noticing how each root system is different. For example, some plants require a full root for transplanting while others need a partial root to survive. Succulents do not need roots at all; pieces can be immersed in dirt and re-establish their roots in ...

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New Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment Materials Released!

The eleventh topic in the Year of Jewish Learning on the Environment, Praying for a Sustainable World, has just been released! Today’s environmental movement seems to focus strongly on doing. There are things to buy, actions to take, petitions to sign, policies to advocate. It is rare for environmentalists to think of prayer as a tool for change. Many people in today’s society think of prayer as a passive, contemplative activity – a break from action. Jewish teachings express a very different view of prayer. Prayer is one of the key tools ...

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Green Israel Shabbaton: Canoeing and Camping in the Green Mountains

Canoe through the wilderness of Vermont's Green Mountains with the Green Zionist Alliance! When: Sept. 7 — 9, 2012 Where: The Green Mountains of southern Vermont, just ~3½ hours drive from New York or Boston Join us as we revel in the beauty of early fall in the Green Mountains of southern Vermont. Enjoy a Shabbat outdoors with warm days and cool nights. Learn about environmental challenges facing Israel as well as Jewish perspectives on global environmental issues. We will paddle to a secluded campsite on a mountain lake where we ...

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Day 49 of the Omer

On this last day of counting the Omer, this seventh day of the sixth week, which gives us seven full weeks, we consider Malchut in Malchut - Leadership in Leadership, the ultimate in leadership. Tonight, or some clear night soon, I invite you to step outside, lie down on the ground on your back, and look up at the stars. When you do, you will see celestial bodies that have been where they are for billions of years. You will gaze at a night sky that people have been gazing at since the beginning of human kind. Perhaps you will see constellations. ...

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Day 48 of the Omer

On this penultimate day of counting the Omer, we consider the attributes of Y'sod in Malchut, Bonding in Leadership. When we look up at the sky on a clear night, we see a milky section of the expanse of stars, what we have dubbed the Milky Way, which we all know contains no milk and is not a candy bar! It is, rather, our view of the galaxy in which we live - a rotating group of gases and dust and hundreds of billions of stars bound together by the force of gravity. When we stand outside and look skyward, the Milky Way looks like it is far away, but ...

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Day 47 of the Omer

Today we reach the fifth day of the seventh week, and we focus on Hod in Malchut, Humility in Leadership. In gazing at the stars, we often see "stars" that are not really stars. At times, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn shine in the evening, night, or early morning sky near the horizon, and to the naked eye they look exactly like bright stars. In fact, these "stars" are planets, and the light they seem to give off is actually the result of their illumination by the Sun. Unlike the Moon, they appear as dots or "stars" ...

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Day 46 of the Omer

On this fourth day of the seventh week of counting the Omer, we turn our thoughts to Netzach in Malchut, Endurance in Leadership. Our Sun is a star, and by star standards it is no big deal. There are many other stars that are similar to it. But for those of us here on Earth, it is the Sun that counts, it is the Sun that makes life possible. One could say that the Sun is middle-aged. It is about 4.5 billion years old, and it will continue to burn hydrogen for another 5 billion years or so. In terms of a human life, or even all human life, ...

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Day 45 of the Omer

Today we consider the Divine Attributes of Tiferet in Malchut - Harmony in Leadership, as we reach the third day of the seventh week of the Omer. The stars are in the sky all the time, during the day and at night, we just can't see them during the day because the light of our star, the Sun, is so bright, not because it is so big, but because it is so close to us, a mere 93 million miles, or 8.2 light-minutes, away. Only at night can we see the stars, and the darker the night, the more we see. If the full moon is shining, it diminishes our ability ...

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Day 44 of the Omer

On this second day of the last week of counting the Omer, we focus on Gevuarh in Malchut - Restraint in Leadership. The amount of energy involved in the Big Bang was so unbelievably huge as to be beyond our comprehension. Today, the brightest events in the sky - those releasing the most energy - are supernovae, or exploding stars, which also involve an unfathomable (though significantly smaller) amount of energy, so much energy, in fact, that they may outshine all the stars in their galaxy. Even if we can't see a galaxy from Earth, we might be able ...

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Day 43 of the Omer

Today we begin the last week of counting the Omer, and all during this week, as we count the last seven days until Revelation, we focus on Malchut - Leadership, beginning with Chesed in Malchut, Lovingkindness in Leadership. And this week we focus on the stars. When we look into the night sky, we see only a tiny fraction of the stars in our galaxy, and there are billions of other galaxies out there that we also can't see, each of which has billions of stars. All the matter in that distant space beyond what we can see and in those stars and galaxies ...

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Day 42 of the Omer

As we reach the end of the fifth week of counting the Omer, we focus on the Divine Attributes of Malchut in Y'sod, Leadership in Bonding. As I walk through the woods today, I am suddenly struck by the dead trees. They are dead, certainly, and yet they are home to so much life. Most readily visible are the bracket fungi I see on some, forming small shelves all the way up the still-standing tree trunk. In one place, I see the remains of a tree so thoroughly decayed and integrated into the forest floor that it is barely recognizable as a fallen tree. ...

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Day 41 of the Omer

On this sixth day of the fifth week of counting the Omer, we consider Y'sod in Y'sod - Bonding in Bonding. Some trees are covered with large, bright, decorative blossoms in the spring - magnolias, flowering dogwoods, cherry trees, flowering crab apples. These and others we plant in our yards and parks so we can enjoy their showy blooms. We plant oaks and maples and beeches for shade and spruce and fir for their gracious shapes and evergreen needles. The pine trees we complain about their thick pollen and the needles we must rake in the fall. ...

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Day 40 of the Omer

On this 40th day of the Omer, we focus on the Divine Attributes of Hod in Y'sod, Humility in Bonding. Every year that a tree grows, a new layer or ring of wood forms around the trunk, just under the bark. A tree generally produces one layer of wood each year, comprised of two rings of slightly different colors. The light-colored section is the spring and summer growth. The darker, denser wood is the fall and winter growth. The alternation of the light and dark make the rings visible. When a tree is cut down, we can count the rings of the ...

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Day 39 of the Omer

On this 39th day of the Omer, we reflect on Endurance in Bonding - Netzach in Y'sod. The fall foliage in New England is stunning. Bright reds and oranges and yellows take one's breath away. In the Midwest, where oaks predominate, the colors are more subdued - yellows, yes, but softer shades of burgundy, salmon, and coral, and much less commonly the brilliant scarlet, crimson, and tangerine that we see here. But no matter what color the leaves turn in the autumn, sooner or later they all fall to the ground. Left behind are bare trees, less ...

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Day 38 of the Omer

On this third day of the sixth week of the Omer we focus on Tiferet in Y'sod, Harmony in Bonding. Biomes are large geographical areas of the world, each with distinctive plants and animals that are adapted to the particular climate and geography of the area. Forest biomes include tropical forests, temperate forests, and boreal forests, also known as the taiga. I love these words: boreal, taiga. Boreal - of or pertaining to the north. Taiga, from the Russian. Both words carry a sense of mystery as I think of those vast cold wildernesses that ...

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