Below is a kavanah [meditation/intention], inspired by Women of the Wall, for prayers at the new moon. Please share for individual or congregational use on Rosh Hodesh, at the announcement of the new month or at another appropriate time.*
Washington, DC’s cross-community Rosh Hodesh Elul service, held on August 11, was an experiment in creating a prayer service that allows DC-area women and men from different streams of Judaism to pray together. In showing solidarity with Women of the Wall, the service exceeded expectations. Many participants found the service a great opportunity to welcome the new month and begin preparations for the new year. Especially given the short planning period and complete lack of official organizational support — many congregations pitched in, but on an ad hoc basis at the very last minute — I believe the event was a successful first endeavor into inter-denominational prayer.
However, it was only a first endeavor.
“…Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev…said to God, “Your tefillin have fallen.”
God’s “Back” and Inter-Jewish Outreach
“Rabbi Akiva said: ‘Chant it every day, Chant it every day’” (San 99b). This blog invites you to consider some electronic and print “chants” as part of a daily or occasional practice of learning:
Are you interested in an interdenominational exploration of Jewish prayer, especially Jewish women’s prayers?
Part 1: Prayer Books and Women
Is offering a single feminine verb-form an innovation in Jewish prayer?
The schedule for “This is My Prayer–Va’ani tefillati: Jewish Women in Prayer” — the March 1 inter-denominational conference — is available now. Registration closes February 24 — NO ON-SITE REGISTRATION — for the event, which takes place at the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School, 20 West End Avenue (at 60th Street), New York City.
Shabbat Shirah is marked at Temple Micah (DC) — as in many congregations — with extra emphasis on the Song of the Sea, the Israelites’ praise-song to God after their escape from Egypt (Exodus Chapter 15). At Micah, the much-anticipated annual celebration incorporates special readings and musical selections; each year presents several settings of “Mi Chamocha” [“Who is like you, God?”] — the pre-Amidah prayer, taken in part from Exod. 15 and recalling the Israelites’ offering of “a shirah chadashah” [new song].