Contemplative Prayer Curriculum

As a part of the IJS program on Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training Program, completed this past September 2015, I was asked to complete an 8 session curriculum associated with that program.  I am now posting this curriculum in December of 2015.

Although probably many of my cohorts did focus on the meditation side, my curriculum did focus on the “so called” normative Jewish prayer side, however, the curriculum has developed to include meditation, as 3 of 8 parts for each of the 8 sessions.

I am in the process presently of rolling this program out for a mixed age group of youth, ranging in age from 5 – 15.  Based on the relative success experienced so far, I have felt motivated to include what I’ve developed on this pubic website, where I personally experience that routine google searches for “Buddhism Judaism” do bring me to this page, between the first and 5th pages in.

In including the developed curriculum, I invite you to borrow from it, and use it to a good purpose.  I might only ask that you let me know you’re doing so (at zukerman dot family at comcast dot net), and…that you provide reasonable attribution.  Also, feel free (of course!) to reach me with any questions. I’ve felt good about the creation of this curriculum, and hope, since you’ve found this page, that you may find value in it as well.

Kol tuv,

Ira Zukerman


Curriculum including meditation and prayer

(originally developed for SHN 2015-2016)


Session One

  • Review main elements of my/our work together (with the kids). These are:
    • Having a big picture for the place of Jewish practice in life. A focus in this:
      • Meditation as part of what could be the 2 step, i.e.,
        • Getting ready…preparing oneself for the important thing to come
      • Prayer…..being our act of relating to something apparently bigger than ourselves
    • With each session we’ll have some of both of these elements
    • We’ll learn a way to practice meditation, in a simple way
    • And, we’ll learn how Jewish practice has developed the insight to present prayer in a certain order
  • Conventionally, our prayers tend to build up in a certain sort of way…they follow an order
    • In fact, the prayer book we use is called a siddur.
      • And…the word: “siddur” refers to “order.”
    • Another time in Jewish practice we call on the idea of order, is at Passover.
      • Then, we have a seder
        • The word has the same root
      • And, to help us “get with” the idea of following an order
        • We’ll….today….practice something like we’ll do each time we meet
      • Frequently towards the end of a seder, we sing: echad mi yodea….who knows one
        • It can be reviewed here:
        • And, based on a google search for this song expressed as above, the first version returned is from Wikipedia, here:
        • The Wikipedia version does present an English rhyming version, which will be good to review
        • However, there is the version in Hebrew….which it would be good to introduce as well
        • Propose to use the pedagogy of the song to initiate a discussion with clergy before this first lesson….and get their sensibilities on how it will be good to introduce both this song, and relatedly, this method, to the kids
  • And so, the thought is that in this first lesson…
    • We’ll provide the overview discussed above
    • Introduce meditation in a simple way, and follow that with the song:
    • echad mi yodea….who knows one


Session Two

Modeh Ani

I – meditation

II – do chant

III – brief meditation

IV – Discuss / Teaching element

V – Practice / visualization exercise

  • Students should think of something they are thankful for
  • With respect to this exercise….we have a choice
    • There could be pre-homework for this.
      • Student’s parents could have been told this is coming this day, and they can ask children to consider something…maybe something important….they are thankful for
      • Or…and whether or not such a homework exercise is engaged….students can then, and on the spot, reflect about something they are again thankful for

VI – Told, per Wikipedia, of tradition of saying the prayer upon getting up.

  • Can also be first prayer they say in service.
    • Frequently, it is not included in the siddur. Sometimes…even like with Eit Ratzon…it IS
      • I need to order a copy; Rosenberg I believe has created a version of his Eit Ratzon with Modeh Ani included; confirm.

VII – Do same version of chant again

VIII – close with meditation


Session Three

Mah Tovu

I – Meditation

II            a ) Do Modeh Ani

  1. b) Now say Mah Tovu
  • Engage the melody just as we say it in services, page 10…those first 2 lines

III            Brief meditation

IV            Discuss / Teaching element

  • Important segment to bootstrap our whole endeavor together!
  • Review how the service is intended….from one point of view….as a set of visualizations, designed to bring the pray-er from a more conventional state of mind….to one where they are prepared to face the world….humbly, and bravely…..with a transformed state of mind, and ready to resist negativity, and do good
  • The rabbis of old, with what we appreciate is divine inspiration, borrowed from many sources, sometimes from the Torah, sometimes other holy documents, and crafted a flow of thoughts the prayer is encouraged to engage.
  • To get ready for these prayers, the rabbis wanted the pray-er to realize that…in approaching the prayer service, they should realize that,….rather than waiting for the service to work on them particularly (which it will), they ask the pray-er to use their imagination… impute, on the spot, a holy state of mind.
  • And….to provide an example from our holy text, they drew from Numbers at 24:5 (we could show this from a Tanach)
  • The basic teaching: just as Bilam had intended to curse the Jewish people…through the right intervention…..he instead blessed them
  • So, too, we could say the blessing Bilam said, and reflect on this process of transformation, which we could try to do with our minds, on the spot

V             Practice / Visualization exercise

  • Consider pre-beginning, again, with home prep
  • This exercise could again, be pre-discussed with clergy, in advance of it being pre-discussed with families, both as to its overall nature (see above), and also, with respect to the pedagogical strategy for mental transformation
  • Recommended:
    • Begin with a 3 step visualization….and after this is embraced….move to a two step
      • The three steps:
        • First, thinking negatively of a situation (will suggest a person initially….but this could go a different way….it’s a thought experiment for us to figure out how to make this work best)
        • Second…thinking neutrally
        • Third, thinking positively.
          • The initial idea is having the pray-er appreciate that they have a gear shift in their mind to work with, and learn to use….especially right here and now….in the service
        • To repeat then, my suggestion is that, with respect to their visualization
          • Step 1 could be, think of someone that….oy vey…they don’t like them
          • Step 2….imagine that….through a nice set of circumstance….they lose their negative feeling about them…they feel neutral about them. And then,
          • Step 3….imagine the pray-er/student wishing only good things on this person that right now….they just don’t like
        • This ideally, will be the practice visualization they’ll do at home. So…they get into the mode of using a gear shift, and directing it to a person
        • Then….what we want them to do is ….and maybe in addition to coming in with a practice of this visualization with a person, they’ll also bring a hat
        • So, in the room, they’ll first reflect on the person…and 3 ways they think of them
        • Then, they’ll take their hat, and turn it sideways
        • Next, we want them to think of this room….this prayer space….as like a person. That’s like turning the hat sideways
        • If they had those 3 gears….we’re now going to ask them to lose step 1, and move to step 2…to think of this prayer space in a neutral way
        • And then, we ask them to move to step 3…and think of this prayer space in a similarly transformed way…..transformed into a space of positivity, based on their feeling and imagination

VI            Review background elements, relating this exercise & prayer back to the siddur

  • Consider sharing column 3 info in Rosenberg:
    • Second verse has 10 words…can be used to count a minyan
    • The progression we want from our minds is matched with the suggested progression used in the words of the text from Rosenberg: “We go from ohel (tent) to Mishkan (sanctuary), to bayit (home) to heichal (palace). Even modest surroundings are transformed into palaces if we are in the right frame of mind.”

VII          Sing the words again….just Mah Tovu this time

VIII         Close with meditation


Session Four


I – meditation

II – Say prayer on p 42 as we say it…the first 2 Paragraphs, where we are called to prayer

  • Before it, begin, as before, with Modeh Ani and Mah Tovu

III – meditation

IV – Discuss / Teaching Element

  • Could add a reflection on what has come before….that the intent of the phases in the prayer service is to limber one up to speak more authentically to…..G-d, or ones innermost self
  • In this pause to reflect, pray-ers could be encouraged to reflect backwards….reflect on…when they say Mah Tovu, what they feel they’re preparing the prayer space for. And, who they’re preparing it with. These friends they’re preparing it with are their friends they’re joining in a community together now.
  • Up to now, they’ve been getting themselves ready. Now, that they’re limbered….they can be encouraged to sort of….look around the room….and see who they’ve just been limbering with. They’re joining a prayer community.   And to acknowledge this…they say Barchu

V             Practice / Visualization exercise

  • Consider whether any pre-work is needed. See example 2 below, and consider asking parents if they can use the idea of the barchu prayer to encourage their children to do their homework more narrowly, until and before they play with their friends.
  • I will, as before, encourage discussion with clergy, to gain agreement on the state of mind that might be engendered with this prayer
  • Two examples might be suggested, and they, the student pray-ers might explore the sensations together
    • Horseracing might be introduced as an idea. Horses are sometimes encouraged with having side blinders put on them….so they cannot see the horses next to each other. That’s so that they can focus on what’s just ahead of them
    • Again, students might be encouraged to reflect on guidance they know is good practice, or that they get from direction from their parents. They may be encouraged to first do their homework, before they are free to play with their friends. That’s like pre-work in the service, before they more formally engage with their cohorts as a community with the barchu.
    • And, for older students, who are encouraged to work in school with teams….they might be absolutely encouraged to do their own prep work first, before engaging with their cohorts, so that their pre-work will serve to benefit the larger group.
    • In this same way…the barchu prayer comes after the work the individual has done in the first set of blessings…where they have participated in preparing themselves to join the prayer community.
  • The exercise encouraged, after this was discussed….is a simple guided meditation.
    • Students will this time repeat the first two prayers (modeh ani & mah tovu), and they’ll be encouraged to sort of visualize themselves saying this in a space that’s about 1 foot around them
    • Then, they’ll say Barchu….and when they say this prayer….they should change their view…and imagine they’re saying this in a prayer space that’s about 15 feet wide around them. They should specifically seek to experience themselves in their community….which has something like those physical dimensions.

VI            Review connecting elements to the siddur

  • Review right hand column text in Rosenstein, our siddur editor….that this is traditionally a call to workshop, and that’s when we say it….with our all coming together, historically….to pray
  • Let’s also introduce the right hand elements from Rosenberg….that in addition to being part of a prayer community….we are also now bowing. From Rosenberg:
  • “The custom of bending the knees and bowing is extremely ancient. The words Barchu and baruch come from the Hebrew word berech, meaning “knee.” When the prayer leader says, Barchu et Adonao ha’m’vorach, he or she is saying literally, “Let us bend the knee to the Lord, the One to whom knees must bend.”
  • Adding in, consistent with the first bulleted item in part IV of Session Four….the “act” of bowing, itself, can be a teaching to ourselves, if we allow it to be, and remind us that….in engaging prayer altogether, we are motivated to connect with something bigger than ourselves. This movement helps us tune into that. When people these days talk about “embodied” practice, it’s related to the kinds motions we make, that aid us in the related meaning of prayer done tool

VII          Say the words just from Barchu again

VIII         closing meditation


Session Five


I –           meditation

II –          Say the Shema, as we do

  • Consider that there are 2 styles for saying this. Ask the clergy why! At temple shalom, we DID use to say them both ways, each in different contexts. Now, it’s just one way
  • Precede with the prayers preceding this reviewed

III            meditation

IV            Discuss / Teaching element

  • Wow
  • Share what we might mean….when we say…wow…we’re talking about the shema now
  • Intentionally more brief comments:
    • Consider sharing the meaning of Schulweis’ the Two faces of G-d
    • Consider encouraging the kids to engage the central visualization Rosenberg suggests….that we, when we say it, become like Moses, and we then visualize ourselves standing on top of Mt. Saini, receiving the torah, in a transformed state
    • Very possibly, for this and the next 2 prayers…in addition to section V…the suggested visualization….we may wish to engage clergy re both parts IV and V, as to both
      • What meaning for the prayer we wish to convey, in addition to
      • The pedagogy for doing so
    • It’s said as though saying it for the first time…with a beginner’s mind….with strong focus

V             Practice / Visualization exercise

  • Consider putting some muscle memory into this aided visualization, consistent with Rosenberg’s suggestion
  • Have the kids start at the outside of church…maybe as far away as the front steps of the church, at Kensington Parkway. And…have them walk, slowly, around, through the parking lot, mindfully, as they get ready to say the shema.
  • Then, imagining that they themselves are Moses, they say the shema, as we do. In doing so, we allow ourselves to be transformed

VI            Context elements

  • There’s a tradition for saying the shema with the right hand covering the eyes, to remove distraction
  • We could share the understanding that, to a certain extent, historically and still, the service has 2 main elements (and some say there was early competition to have this or the Amidah be the lone main portion), of which this is one.
  • For this exercise, we’ll say the single line (unless we wish to add more). But, the continuation of the shema can help us understand how the prayer is very much about mindfulness altogether, as a Jewish methodology. Wherein we use the tsitsis to remind ourselves about our connection to our tradition and practice

VII           Say again the shema

VIII         meditate


Session 6

Mi Cha Mocha

I               meditation

II             Say all 3 paragraphs please, as we say them

  • We might even get Ramon’s help with the missing paragraph re Nachshon

III            meditation

IV            Discussion / Teaching

  • From the point of view of “central” and important teachings….this is a sacred and important piece of text
  • Rain, I’m so glad you thought to pull it out
  • Still….I think it will be best to share two different and separate understandings with respect to its function in our liturgy.
  • First, traditionally, there is the story of Nachshon, that this points to
    • We can appreciate that we should be like Nachshon, and have faith, so that we can participate in the process of becoming a responsible person in the world
    • Also, there is also the important midrash that says….when the red sea parted, there were no doubters.
      • These two stories really are diametrically opposed to each other
      • I will tell you that from most folks, I usually hear them sharing the first one, and not the second, but in the “revealing” of the meaning of the siddur to me, I was first introduced to the second meaning, which I regarded as being very powerful, and only later did I hear that first midrash.
      • With respect to that second midrash, which I think is also one many do know, you sort of take Ronald Reagan’s words, and need to flip them around, and understand that with respect to trusting and verifying…..the teaching is that you don’t have to worry about trusting….once you have the clarity available with verification. With verification….trust just takes care of itself.
    • Regarding this second midrash, to make more clear the point, I’ll reproduce some of the text from Rosenberg:
    • “At Mount Sinai there were doubters among the Jews; that is why the Golden Calf was fashioned while Moses was atop the mountain. At the Red Sea, there were no doubters; everyone saw the miraculous parting of the sea. We now attempt to achieve the kind of unity of mind that the Jews have achieved only once before, as a means to the redemption through which our communal requests, which we are about to address to G-d in the Amidah, may be granted. Imagine how different our history might have been if the Jews had been as united at Mount Sinai in accepting G-d’s commandments as they had been at the Red Sea in accepting G-d’s assistance!

V             Practice / Visualization Exercise

  • My suggestion….consider making this into what I would call a: heaven/earth/man exercise. In this case, the only issue of interest is which comes first…heaven or earth. I am suggesting we do them both….and conclude with man….as we are moments away from the Amidah.
  • So…let’s make this an earth, heaven & man exercise….following the expected order of events.
  • Imagine we are there….just before the Red Sea will part
  • Steps:
    • We are Nachshon. The sea is not parting. We express our trust. We walk in….up to our nose. We prepare to go farther. Without our knowing whether it will or not…..the waters do part
    • The second piece is separate…and does not particularly come out of the first. Or….consider that with the thousands of people….we are now really “post” Nachshon. We weren’t at the shore when the waters parted…but finally….we are at where the shore use to be….except that instead….we see that the waters are parted, and waiting for us to cross. We are dumbfounded
    • Phase 3….we experience humility. We are now across the Red Sea. We are exhausted, grateful….we are effectively post Nachshon and dumbfounded. We are just human, simple, and now ready to go before G-d in the Amidah
  • The thing perhaps that’s special about this prayer, this quiet prayer that gets no fanfare, but which Rain so wisely selected to include among 7 prayers, is that it quietly opens up what can be an understanding of how prayer is potentially so powerful for us. And, it is only powerful by way of its potential…and that is in terms of our “working” prayer, in the way it was intended, we are saying, as a powerful visualization practice, helping us get strategically into our life.

VI            Context

  • The context piece that comes to my mind….is that the ideas behind the prayers are indeed building, and becoming complex. Never mentioned previously, because no context for this idea hasn’t been introduced….is that the families should have been gathering….hopefully monthly….for a parent education committee. It would be good if the parents were in the process tuned into what was happening somewhat with religious school.
  • In terms of the prayer service, and their children’s exposure to it….while the Shema is, by its nature….”singular,” personally… is also “wow,” in some measure because of its power and complexity….in terms of what that “G-d is one” means.
  • Now, with Mi Cha Mocha, I think a best practice understanding suggests two divergent teachings, both true and completely in accord with Jewish understanding and practice.
  • And then, the kids are about to come to the Amidah….where so little is frequently said, but so much is going on. Especially, at least, during the weekday Amidah. Maybe the Shabbat Amidah is less to get your head around.
  • So…the main context part for Mi Cha Mocha may be the encouragement of families to partner with kids with their study, further

VII          Say the prayer again

VIII         meditation


Session Seven


I               Meditation

II             Say….what?

  • Tbd
  • Suggested:
    • Say the first of the 7 Shabbat Blessings together
    • Point to there being 6 more, and describe their elements
    • Not sure
  • As before, precede Amidah with previous 5 blessings we’ve included in this lesson plan

III            meditation

IV            Discussion / Teaching

  • In the first part of the Amidah, we reflect on our ancestors
  • I would be open to discussion on strategies for this overall…..a prayer which we tend to not talk about….with respect to the details of the prayer.
  • But, let me try….
  • Probably, we should go for the big overview.
    • This is somewhat consistent with the meaning of seeing the Amidah as part of the 4th world, as we sometimes see, anyway. It might be seen that each of the 4 worlds not only represent a journey but each successive one includes the other.
    • So I am reminded that sometimes, folks see prayer as being one of three or four types
    • For background, see here:
    • In three types, which I initially remembered, prayer can be seen as always part of:
      • Help, thanks, wow, or
      • Wow, thanks, gimme, oops
    • And, we can see the Amidah as part of that scheme as well.
  • Alternately, there are probably 7 different elements we may instead want to iterate
    • Ancestors and thereby thanks
    • Power and the cyclic nature of things… (thanks with wow)
    • Holiness (wow?)
  • Then, with Shabbat I think you have thanks
  • Probably, it will be good to simply review that in weekdays, our Thanks for Shabbat is segregated into 13 gimmees
  • Then, you have more thanks. Possibly, you have less oops with the Amidah, so help, thanks & wow may be operative for the Amidah

V             Practice / Visualization

  • We might discuss what our intent should be here.
  • We could choose to focus on the ancestors part….but that is really only one part.
  • As I’m right now thinking of this…it occurs to me that we want the pray-er to think about….in the first 3 blessings of the Amidah…thanks…with increasingly expanding ranges of influence
    • With Avot, it is personal, a blood line, and family…stretching way back
    • With Gevurot, we think a step further about how the cosmos works, birth and death, and the order of things…or we might so do
    • With Kedusha, we reflect further, deeper…..on that the way the world works is imbued with holiness.
    • Then….we either thank G-d for Shabbat, or request help (on a weekday)
    • Finally, we
      • Thank G-d for having heard us
      • Offer thanks for providing peace
      • Assume a stance of humility with the Ravina prayer, and
      • Request peace
    • So…again….with respect to the visualization….we really want to get the kids into the idea of going deep…like peeling an onion
    • Like
      • A) thanking G-d for the food we eat to stop our hunger
      • B) thanking G-d for the farmers who let us have that food, and
      • C) thanking G-d for having a world whose climate allows the farmers to do their work
    • Somehow, we wish, in reflecting on the Amidah, for the kids to go from thinking smaller to thinking bigger, as they move through the prayer.

VI            Context

  • Additional elements with respect to this prayer concerns both the movements, and
  • Their meaning
    • So, moving backwards and forwards early, as we recede from, and then approach G-d
    • Bowing
    • Going up on toes
    • Leaning left & right as we greet our fellow angels, etc.

VII           Repeat whatever portion of the Amidah is determined to be done. I’ll re-suggest the Avot

  • It is also traditional that at least this one part of the Amidah be known very well

VIII         meditation


(Questions before…) Session Eight

***Note, in the process of creating this curriculum, I coordinated with Rabbi Rain Zohav, current Director of Education at Shirat HaNefesh, and recently ordained Rabbi in the Renewal Movement.  Some initial thought was given to making the closing prayer, Oseh Shalom, and it could be noted that, although ultimately Aleinu was selected, and reviewed further below, it was not the initial thought…and it could be noted that the programming for the Institute of Jewish Spirituality does not now normatively include Aleinu.  However, my own sensibilities, as also corroborated at least with Rosenberg, have moved me to make Aleinu the 8th prayer.  Nevertheless, at least as a process point, it seemed worthwhile to include the contemplation of Oseh Shalom here, and as well, my thoughts concerning it versus Aleinu, immediately below…


To be confirmed: earlier it was suggested the 8th prayer be Oseh Shalom

For a time, (and ultimately) this was un-done (the selection of Oseh Shalom) ….because

  • From the point of view most readily available to me, this prayer (Oseh Shalom) is part of the Amidah. It’s important, yes, but still covered in the Amidah.
  • Very possibly, it is worthy of an additional session, if only because of its importance.
  • Another suggestion, which I realize may be controversial, could be to swap this with Aleinu. (That is now Session 8; see next)
    • I understand that, and as for example, on the Jewish Meditation retreat program I’ve been on, they do not include Aleinu.
    • And, with respect to a central consideration of the Reconstructionist movement, the prayer and its association with chosenness can be a problem
  • But, another view …. Not to call ourselves post Reconstructionist particularly….but instead…
    • We could see, as Rosenberg does, Aleinu in its historical context
    • Additionally, and as I have written about at my website, jewbu,org, there is another aspect of “pride” associated with Jewish practice that is something that can be fostered.
    • It IS a common enough understanding lately that many different religious paths have their own legitimate systems for practice, meaning they have their separate sources of pride, too.
    • So, I personally think we will benefit from acknowledging the value of both the humanistic elements of our practice, as well as the particularistic elements, and gain an appreciation for how these elements also work interactively, as well.
  • Though, again, I was open to returning to Oseh Shalom, if desired….by our agreement, session #8 will be Aleinu


Session 8


I               Meditation

II             Say all the prayers up to the present time, and continue with Aleinu. But…what should we say…when we come to Aleinu?

  • Possibilities….
    • We could say the beginning paragraph, and the prayer is named for it
      • And, right here, we could mention why it’s controversial, and review that some contemplative communities don’t say this prayer
        • Because…it either incorrectly identifies us as special, or
        • In reviewing other traditions, it reflects on their incorrect views where they “bow to images of wood and stone”
        • And, although our Rosenstein provides 4 different versions of this single prayer.
        • See that even with these options, each of the versions uses the words…”our ancestors alone recognized You.” Do we think that?
      • And, by beginning at the beginning on page 108, this will take us to the top of 109, we can show the kids the bowing practice, when we say: “We bow only to you.”
      • And, on Yom Kippur….we have the one time all year when we have an opportunity to not just bow with the knees, but we can come all the way down on the floor
        • Or, we can focus on the last lines of page 109, including “Ein Od,” and a reminder that, central to this prayer is the idea of “one G-d”
      • Or, yet again, I might suggest that we…
    • Go to the very end.
      • Where and why?
      • When we say Aleinu, we can pour the juice, because we’re near the end of the service
      • And when we say “V’ne-e-mar”…we’re at the end of the end
      • In reflecting on this last paragraph
        • Which I am suggesting we read and say together as a group
      • We also have an opportunity to read together the beautiful text, also written by our siddur author, Rosenstein, called: “On that Day,” found in the right most column of page 110.
      • And I think these ARE the kinds of thoughts, which Rosenstein writes, that we can think about when we say these words from Aleinu
      • So now we read…
    • V’ne-e-mar…..

III            Meditation

IV            Discussion

  • If we follow the logic of what is immediately above…we might have had some of the discussion above, as we got ready to tell the kids about what part of Aleinu we would be reading. I actually think that’s ok.
  • Also
    • We could say that with Aleinu, we end sort of like we begin
    • We begin early with Mah Tovu, where we realize that we can prepare and even change our minds
    • Traditionally, when we put on the tallit at the beginning of prayer, we are like putting on our prayer uniform
      • Have a prop of the tallit in the room and demonstrate
    • And now, as we near the end of the service, having fortified our minds….we might feel strengthened, and ready to go into the world ready to be humble like Nachson, and ready to be inspired to do only good things.
    • A final central idea might concern the appropriate message of pride
      • It’s right and proper and good to feel pride in your heritage, and that may be one of the controversial aspects of this prayer.
      • Some whole movements in Judaism are known for their reinterpretation of this prayer, which can use words to suggest that we are the “chosen people.”
      • But, our experience of pride in who we are doesn’t have to be based on comparisons to others.
      • We said before that the end makes us reflect on the beginning.
        • When we turn to page 13, and the early blessings, see how our editor Joe helps us with his translation of the words:
        • “You have made me a Jew, with an enriching heritage.”
        • We can experience the real pride that we have, for having this rich tradition passed on to us, which we can benefit from. As Jews…we HAVE an enriching heritage…which we can absolutely be thankful for

V –          Visualization

  • And now, when we say this closing prayer, V’ne-e-mar
    • We can reflect on the English words, as we say that Adonai will become ruler over all the earth
    • We can reflect on the fact that through our Jewish practices, both in and outside of the synagogue, we experience the pride of being partners with G-d, as we say these words.
    • Say them with pride: V’ne-e-mar….

VI            Context

  • Aleinu…or….”It is our duty.” Though this prayer was written in the 3rd century, it became the closing prayer in our siddur in the 13th In 1171, in Bois, France, 51 Jews were burned at the stake for being accused of ritual murder. And, as they were burned…they said this prayer. So, we say it since that time, partly remembering these 51, but more, for what they recognized. The Aleinu prayer is our “Pledge of Allegiance,” which we say at the end of the service, when we can reflect on our loyalty….to G-d, this life, and this bigger world beyond ourselves.

VII          Once again, say the prayer: V’ne-e-mar….

VIII         Meditation