Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,
The ALEPH Kallah is the Jewish Renewal Biennial — a week-long gathering which takes place every other year, a magical week of learning and prayer and yoga and meditation and terrific programs and amazing teachers. It’s a great way to experience Jewish Renewal (beyond merely what you experience by having me as your rabbi): a chance to meet people, have meaningful conversations, experience new modalities of prayer, and engage in learning which feeds your mind and heart and soul alike.
If you’re able to make it to New Hampshire from July 1-7, I hope you’ll consider coming. I would love to have some folks from CBI join me there, and if we can get ten of us to attend, there’s a congregational discount for any community which is bringing a “minyan” of attendees. The Kallah moves around the country every two years; it hasn’t been on the East Coast for a while, and probably won’t be again for a while, so this is a unique opportunity to meet my friends and teachers and one of the communities of which I am a part.
Here’s my workshop description:
Writing the Psalms of Our Hearts
The psalms are a deep repository of praise, thanksgiving, grief, and exaltation, one of our communal tools for connecting with God. In this class, each of us will become a psalmist. We’ll awaken our spirits and hearts by praying select psalms together, warm up our intellectual muscles with writing exercises, and enter into a safe space for creativity as we each write our own psalms. After sharing our psalms aloud and sharing our responses to each others’ work, we’ll close by davening together once more. At week’s end, we’ll each take home a compilation of our collected psalms.
Other classes scheduled for the Kallah will include one on Jewish spiritual singing, one on quantum physics and kabbalah, one on talking about Israel, one in Torah yoga / movement, a wilderness Torah experience (involving hiking and the great outdoors), Jewish meditation, yoga, the interconnected roots of Judaism and Christianity, Hebrew chanting, Torah scroll repair / calligraphy, and a terrific class on Jewish and Islamic mysticism (team-taught by a rabbi and a Sufi) which I took two years ago and loved.
The Kallah Website includes a listing of all of the classes, along with information about the kids/teens program, opportunities for artists, and opportunities for practitioners of various healing arts.
I’ve attended the Kallah a few times before, and have blogged about it here (check out the ALEPH Kallah tag for those posts.) Every time I’ve attended, I’ve come away feeling spiritually renewed, filled-up with all kinds of wonderful teachings and ideas. I can’t wait to bring some of that joy and learning back from the Kallah to CBI.
The Kallah is great fun. I hope some of y’all will join me there. For more information visit the Kallah webpage, or contact the Kallah office at firstname.lastname@example.org — or reach out to me directly; I’m happy to talk about this with anyone who’s curious!
Blessings to all,
Photos by Ann Silver, taken at the last Kallah, summer 2011 in Redlands, CA. Adapted from a post on Velveteen Rabbi.