The Lev Shalem Institute just completed a six-week series called Pathways into Jewish Prayer, coordinated by Pauline Tamari with sensitivity and skill. A wonderful group gathered who were interested and able to speak personally and intimately about their relationship to prayer, the ways prayer feeds their lives, and the ways that they feel blocked from or unable to pray. Cantor Micha’el Esformes led a class on the deep structure of the Jewish prayer service; Shir Yaakov Feit led a session on the power of chant as a form of prayer; I taught about poetry as prayer and prayer as poetry; and Pauline introduced us to “davenology”, Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi of blessed memory’s coinage that describes and experiments with the many ways prayer can become a meaningful practice in our lives.
The course was a learning lab in the best sense of the word, and left us all eager to continue.
We will be scheduling the next series of these workshops to resume sometime after New Year’s. All will be most welcome to join in, so stay posted for the precise dates. I am excited by the groundwork this course is laying to deepen and revitalize our congregation as a praying community. In the process, we are also deepening our connections to one another, as we share the yearnings and longings of our hearts. It feels so nourishing, real soul food.