This Simḥat Bat ceremony guide includes an order of blessings and ceremony with attention to various traditional customs regarding the use of blessings and prayers. The guide also includes words of Torah and rabbinic teachings which relate to the themes in the guide. . . .
A bilingual Hebrew-English Sepharadi Jewish prayerbook (maḥzor) for Yom Kippur, with gender inclusive language, compiled and translated by Daniel Cayre for Kanisse: a Modern Sephardic + Mizrahi Community. . . .
This short piyut touches on these four themes related to Shmitah: release of debts, the rights of the land, the rights of wild animals (who share our food during Shmitah), and the freeing of slaves. The piyut would fit as part of Seliḥot before Rosh haShanah and during Yom Kippur. . . .
There’s a lot of controversy over Yom haShoah as a date. One of the key issues is this: traditionally, the ways Jews mourn communal tragedies is through establishing a fast day. It’s forbidden to fast during the month of Nisan. It’s hard to pick any specific date to commemorate a tragedy as enormous as the Shoah, but one which seems appropriate to me would be 16 Marḥeshvan, the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the November Pogrom. This piyyut is a seliḥah for Kristallnacht, to be recited on 16 Marḥeshvan (or 15 Marḥeshvan on years like 5782 where the sixteenth falls on a Thursday). . . .
There are blessings for beautiful vistas, and there are blessings for powerful weather. But is there a blessing for giant swarms of bugs? Certainly! There just wasn’t a kavvanah for it… yet. Inspired by the appearance of Brood X in May 2021, this is a meditation and blessing for the unique experience of seeing an enormous number of non-dangerous insects. Cicadas are NOT a plague — they don’t eat crops or spread disease, but they do help revitalize the soil and keep forest ecosystems healthy. As a natural part of the universal order, we should work to see the divinity and goodness in them, even if we might normally think of them as gross. . . .
Some communities have a practice of singing a song about Miriam alongside the well-known Havdalah song about Elijah the Prophet. But Miriam isn’t really a parallel to Elijah — she’s a parallel to Moshe and Aaron. When we’re talking about distaff counterparts to Elijah the clearest example is Seraḥ bat Asher. Seraḥ, the daughter of Asher, is mentioned only a handful of times in the Tanakh, but is given great significance in the midrash. Like Elijah, she is said to have never died but entered Paradise alive, and comes around to the rabbis to give advice or teachings. This song, which includes several references to midrashim about Seraḥ, is meant to be sung to any traditional tune of “Eliyahu haNavi.” It is dedicated to Ḥazzan Joanna Selznick Dulkin (shlit”a), who introduced me to the legends of Seraḥ bat Asher. . . .
Rabbi Yosi son of Rabbi Yehuda says: “Three good sustainers arose for Israel. These are they: Moses and Aaron and Miriam. And three good gifts were given because of them, and these are they: well, and cloud, and manna. The well was given in merit of Miriam… Miriam died and the well ceased, as it is written (Numbers 20:1-2) “And Miriam died there,” and it says right afterwards “and there was no water for the community.” . . .
This is a poetic Birkat haMazon, similar to those found in the Cairo Geniza, intended for this specific break-fast meal. The editor has included the text in Hebrew, English, and an attempted Liturgical Ge’ez translation. . . .
A covenantal document for an egalitarian wedding/partnership rooted in R’ Rachel Adler’s brit ahuvim legal structure, not based on kiddushin. Written for a woman and man marrying each other (see genders in Hebrew). . . .
Especially for those of us who use the Torah passages on the expulsion of Hagar and Ishmael and the Binding of Isaac for Rosh Hashanah, together with Rabbi Phyllis Ocean Berman, I want to recommend that you read from the Sefer Torah the passage in Genesis 25:7-11 on the reconciliation of the two brothers as they come together to bury their dangerous father Avraham/Ibrahim/Abraham. . . .
A prayer for the Global Shabbat Against Home Demolitions in response to the State of Israel’s policy,under the military occupation of Area C in the West Bank, of demolishing structures without building permits. . . .