Two rabbinic students studying in Jerusalem, Zelig Golden and Eva Neuhaus are organizing a class on tefilla-prayer. I’ll be teaching on Thursdays, 2:30-5 PM starting Oct 23. We will meet for 8 sessions in the German Colony (location details available upon registration). If you’re not in Jerusalem and want to join via Skype, that’s also an option. 750 NIS; sliding scale available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register or with questions. Here is a brief description:
Mining Spiritual Jewels of Prayer:
Close Encounters with Biblical, Rabbinic and Hasidic Sources
The gems of Jewish prayer have many sparkling facets; each refracts the light of the human-divine encounter uniquely. In this series of interactive sessions, we explore roots, meanings, and processes of Jewish prayer experience. We engage with primary biblical, talmudic, mystical and hasidic texts that illumine diverse prayer encounters, their context and conditions. We seek deeper awareness and connection to nuances of prayer consciousness and to enrich our practice. We will address questions and issues of relevance to the participants’ experience. Texts and a small amount of secondary source reading will be distributed prior to each class meeting. In the glow of these precious encounters, we polish and deepen the hues of our prayer intentions, as individuals and as a community.
Earth out of which bread emerges, אֶרֶץ מִמֶּנָּה יֵצֵא-לָחֶם
Below her is upheaval like fire. וְתַחְתֶּיהָ נֶהְפַּךְ כְּמוֹ-אֵשׁ
In that place her rocks are sapphire, מְקוֹם-סַפִּיר אֲבָנֶיהָ
It contains gold dust too. וְעַפְרֹת זָהָב לוֹ
Job 28:5-6 איוב לח: ה–ו
That locus which is the origin of existence, the awakening of desire, is designated as the “earth [in the sense of the divine ground of “being.” The passage refers to the keter, the primal will of God]. Providing sustenance for all things, it is the source of life, supplying the needs of the upper and lower realms. Earth is changed below as if into fire – its wonderous illumination and pure light, transcending all likeness and comparison.
’Its rocks are a source of sapphire”: the quarry of the holy gems, the 22 primordial letters, each and every one an object of value, transformed into a creative vessel. From them holiness draws near, a tower of might is constructed and quarried, “to which the righteous person runs and is safe. (Prov. 18:10)
from Ezra ben Shlomo of Gerona’s early 13th century (Kabbalistic) commentary on the Song of Songs, Intro.