Tag: Spirituality

Tefillin: A Reminder of What is Holy

Tefillin: A Reminder of What is Holy

Rabbi Julie Schwarzwald on wearing Tefillin: As I go about my work and my mundane routine, I am regularly reminded of what is holy.

Make the Bitter Sweet

Make the Bitter Sweet

Just three days after escaping Egypt, the Israelites find themselves in the desert with no water, causing spiritual crises.

Blessings and Bodies: Praying Without the Book

Blessings and Bodies: Praying Without the Book

Jewish spirituality doesn’t live in a book. Our bodies can guide our awareness and blessing. What could this practice look like in your life?

Parashat Shemot Haftarah: The Sound of Prayer

The Sound of Prayer

This week’s haftarah brings meaning to words without meaning—nonsense—and how to pray without understanding the literal meaning.

Songs for Hanukkah

Songs for Hanukkah

Hanukkah songs include those that follow candle lighting, as well as S’vivon sov sov sov, Hanukkah O’Hanukkah, and Neir Li.

What does it take to feel Jewish

What does it take to feel Jewish?

Collecting experiences helps us feel like we belong. By doing ‘Jewish,’ we create meaningful Jewish lives where spirituality feels less contrived.

The Arba•ah Minim

The Arba·ah Minim

Besides dwelling in a sukkah, the other significant mitzvah of Sukkot is the taking up of the arba·ah minim, literally “the four species.”

Sukkot at Home

Sukkot at Home

While celebrating Sukkot at home, rituals include lighting candles, sitting in the sukkah, and customs related to the sukkah.

Simḥat Torah

Simḥat Torah

Simḥat Torah means “the joy of Torah” and is the name for the day on which the annual cycle of Torah readings begins and ends.

Rituals of Sukkot

Rituals of Sukkot

Sukkot, one of the shalosh r’galim, the three pilgrimage festivals is celebrated five days after Yom Kippur.

Sukkot Candle Lighting

Sukkot Candle Lighting

The laws for lighting candles on Sukkot are almost identical to the laws for Shabbat candle lighting, with the exception of covering eyes.

Yom Kippur Candle Lighting

Yom Kippur Candle Lighting

Following the Yom Kippur meal, candles are lit in a similar fashion to those lit on Rosh Hashanah. A Yizkor candle is also lit.

Yom Kippur Evening Service

Yom Kippur Evening Service

Maariv, the evening service, following Kol Nidrei on Erev Yom Kippur, is similar in many ways to daily Maariv but has notable differences.

Yom Kippur Morning Services

Yom Kippur Morning Services

The Yom Kippur morning service is similar to Rosh Hashanah, with the exception of the Amidah and the selections for the Torah service.

Yom Kippur Yizkor Service

Yom Kippur Yizkor Service

The Memorial Service, Yizkor, is recited on Yom Kippur, one of four times throughout the year, to remember loved ones and Jewish martyrs.

What to Read to Prepare for the High Holidays this Year

What to Read to Prepare for the High Holidays this Year

Rabbi Mordechai Rackover recommends these reads to help you prepare for the themes, liturgy, and spirit of the High Holidays.

Rosh Hashanah Musaf Service

Rosh Hashanah Musaf Service

The Musaf Service for Rosh Hashanah contains familiar opening and closing blessings of the Amidah with the usual High Holiday interpolations.

The Shofar on Rosh Hashanah

The Shofar on Rosh Hashanah

Sounding of the shofar is a characteristic mitzvah of Rosh Hashanah. The holiday is alternatively called the Day of Sounding the Shofar. 

Elul’s Shofar: A Poem

Elul’s Shofar: A Poem

Elul’s shofar blasts daily remind us of all we need to do to prepare spiritually for the upcoming holidays and the start of the new year.

blurry image of a backyard at night with the words Havdalah Solo: My (Slightly Awkward) Spiritual Self-Care

Havdalah Solo: My (Slightly Awkward) Spiritual Self-Care

My Havdalah candle, wine, spices, and I did my own Havdalah ceremony all alone in my backyard. It was my own form of spiritual self-care.

Blurry image of cleaning supplies with the words Spirtually Cleaning the Hametz within our souls

Spiritually Cleaning the Hametz Within Our Souls

With all of this physically taxing work, it can be easy to miss the spiritual preparation for this celebration of our collective redemption.