Oseh Shalom

Oseh Online

In response to COVID-19

First of all, it is important that we each be at our best in what will be a continually challenging situation. So beyond taking care of oneself by prioritizing sleep, health, and eating well, please make sure to make time for that which you find truly nourishing and supportive. This could be prayer (for group virtual opportunities in this regard, see below), time in nature, meditation, journaling, art, spiritually moving/insightful reading, or many other possibilities. A question to ask is: what will help me to cultivate a sense of gratitude and appreciation for life as it is, right now? The point is to prioritize those activities that will help us to feel centered and grounded so that we can meet the unprecedented stresses of this time.

Thankfully, it’s not 8 degrees outside, and if we can’t head to our favorite indoor options, the glorious display of spring and its new life waking up is unfolding all around us. Being outside at this time is a great way to truly internalize the beautiful line from the morning prayers, “in Your goodness, You continually renew each day the work of Creation.” Just spending 10 minutes outside with the intention of attuning to this line of the davenning can be wonderfully nourishing and joy giving.

To help counteract the effects of social distancing, we are providing multiple opportunities for virtual connecting. The options below use an interactive online platform called Zoom. Download the Zoom app before trying to attend the classes and services below. For the safety of our staff, we are not streaming until this situation resolves. If you need help with Zoom, contact John Riehl (301-490-3645)  or Ray Wacks (410-484-8574). Links for the spiritual practice are on our home page and calendar. Just click on the links below at the appropriate time and follow the prompts about whether or not you want to use video (hopefully you will, so this can be as much “in person” as possible), and if you are connecting via the computer audio.

Digital Prayer Books for Services

Download or view a pdf of Kol Haneshamah: the Daily Prayer Book or Shabbat Vehagim. Reconstructing Judiasm has never before offered a free version of our prayer books, but we’re believe this is a moment to lean into generosity and put all the resources we have at our disposal into supporting the spiritual health and well-being of our communities.

Connect in Multiple Ways!

  1. Spiritual and Copmmunity Connection
  1. Study: Check our website calendar for study opportunities using Zoom
  2. Community Support: Coming together as a community is so important at this time! Join others from Oseh in exploring how we can best fulfill the mitzvah of caring for each other, even as we practice the mitzvah of life-saving social distancing. We are exploring how to meet our community’s needs for reaching out to members by phone, help with shopping, and perhaps making food for others. If you are interested in participating in this, contact John Riehl (realman02@verizon.net).
  1. Talk to the Rabbis: And of course, we are available to meet one on one to provide a listening presence either by Zoom or phone. Email or call either of us to set up a time: Rabbi.Josh18@gmail.com (508-494-1631) or RabbiDaria@oseh-shalom.org (508-494-1627).
  1. Other resources
    With some extra time at home, treat yourself to some great Jewish spiritual literature. Here are our top three favorites:
  • Sacred Therapy: Jewish Spiritual Teachings on Emotional Healing and Inner Wholeness, by Estelle Frankel. (Frankel is a therapist and contemporary Jewish spiritual teacher.)
  • A Book of LIfe: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice, by Michael Strassfeld. (Strassfeld is a prominent Reconstructionist rabbi and the author of the famous Jewish Catalogs.)
  • Jewish with Feeling: a Guide to Meaningful Jewish Practice,by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. (Reb Zalman was the founder of the Jewish Renewal movement and a major figure in late 20th century and early 21st century Jewish spirituality.)
  • In case you didn’t receive this in your email directly from Reconstructing Judaism, check out some great resources here and be sure to sign up for their emails. You can also check out www.RitualWell.org, an affiliate of Reconstructing Judaism.

Coming off of Purim, we are reminded of Mordechai’s words to Esther when she is reluctant to rise to take the risk of approaching the king: “And who knows? Maybe you have come to your position for just such a crisis…” (Esther 4:14) May the sanity, wisdom, clarity, love, creativity and humor that is within each of us (and beyond each of us) come to the fore at this difficult time, and may we all rise to the occasion!

Blessings of health and community connection,

Rabbi Josh & Rabbi Daria