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Elul Learning Series: Spiritual Practice for the High Holy Days
August 27 @ 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
One event on August 27, 2023 at 2:30 pm
A two-part High Holy Day preparation learning series taking place on Sunday August 13 and Sunday August 27th at 2:30-4pm in OZ’s Yurt. The program is co-lead by Rabbi Aaron Philmus, Lindsay Foreman and Justin Reidy.
Elul, the Hebrew month prior to the High Holy Days, begins at sundown on August 17. It is a time of preparation for the Days of Awe, the ten-day period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur.
Elul is traditionally marked by a period of self-reflection and study in anticipation of the spiritual experience of the High Holidays. To support that preparation, our program will explore the themes of “Waking Up, Being Present, and Finding Home“, and are inspired by the profound teachings of Rabbi Alan Lew’s “This is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared,” a book that challenges and guides us towards a deeper understanding of our spiritual selves.
In our time together, we will be creating a dynamic blend of traditional learning and mindfulness practices, drawing on chanting, meditation, and the age-old wisdom of our texts. Our journey will start and end with the powerful chant “Hineini”* – a heartfelt declaration of our readiness to open ourselves to divine communication and introspection.
Our learning will be driven by shared dialogue through “chavruta” – a time-honored approach to learning that emphasizes conversation and the free exchange of ideas. We will delve into thought-provoking questions that seek to provide context and broaden our perspectives.
The session will culminate with a full group discussion, allowing us to share our insights, experiences, and newfound understandings. This will be followed by a meditative session designed to quieten the mind, align our spirit, and anchor our learnings.
We believe these learning events are not just an opportunity for intellectual and spiritual growth, but also a chance to deepen the ties that bind our community together. No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, we encourage you to come, participate, and find a sense of home and belonging in our shared exploration.
We look forward to seeing you as we explore, learn, reflect, and experience the profoundness of being truly present, awake, and at home in our spiritual selves.
* “Hineini”, Hebrew for “here I am”, is a phrase that’s frequently associated with direct spiritual encounters with the Divine, most notably Moses’s response to HaShem at the burning bush.