Join me in a mitzvah experiment

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

I am a Rabbis Without Borders fellow, which gives me the opportunity to bring some neat things to CBI. One of the things I’m bringing to CBI this spring is a new project called The Flourishing Project. The Flourishing Project’s goal is to explore a simple question: How do mitzvot function, if at all, to help us live more flourishing lives?

In looking at this question, our goal is to understand the lived experience of Jewish practice and ritual through the lens of Positive Psychology: Not what we’ve been told Jewish practice should do for us, but rather what it actually does for us.

I’m inviting you to join me in participating in this experiment. Every Hebrew month, we will invite you to try on one Jewish practice and reflect on the impact, if any, of doing it regularly.

Our first mitzvah is blessing before eating. If you are interested in participating, we ask that you commit to regularly bless before eating for the entirety of the month of Adar II, which begins next week on Friday, March 11 and ends on Friday, April 8. We do not require a commitment to participate in the next month’s mitzvah.

I’m attaching a letter which explains the Flourishing Project, and also contains a set of traditional blessings over food in case you choose to use the traditional liturgy. If you’re planning to participate, please complete this very short survey by Friday; you will be asked to complete a similar very short survey at the end of the month.

Join me in helping Clal and Rabbis Without Borders figure out whether and how practicing mitzvot actually improves your life!

Blessings to all,

Rabbi Rachel

Flourishing Project Flyer – with food blessings

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