The ALEPH Kallah is the Jewish Renewal Biennial -- a week-long gathering which takes place every other year, a magical week of learning and davenen (prayer) and yoga and meditation and terrific programs and amazing teachers. It's a great way to experience Jewish Renewal: to meet people, have meaningful conversations, experience new modalities of prayer, and engage in learning which feeds your mind and heart and soul alike.
If you're able to get to New Hampshire from July 1-7, I hope you'll consider coming -- and if my class sounds good to you, I hope you'll sign up for it!
Here's my workshop description:
Writing the Psalms of Our Hearts
The psalms are a deep repository of praise, thanksgiving, grief, and exaltation, one of our communal tools for connecting with God. In this class, each of us will become a psalmist. We'll awaken our spirits and hearts by praying select psalms together, warm up our intellectual muscles with writing exercises, and enter into a safe space for creativity as we each write our own psalms. After sharing our psalms aloud and sharing our responses to each others' work, we'll close by davening together once more. At week's end, we'll each take home a compilation of our collected psalms.
Other classes scheduled for the Kallah will include one on Jewish spiritual singing, one on quantum physics and kabbalah, one on talking about Israel, one in Torah yoga / movement, a wilderness Torah experience (involving hiking and the great outdoors), Jewish meditation, yoga, the interconnected roots of Judaism and Christianity, Hebrew chanting, Torah scroll repair / calligraphy, and a terrific class on Jewish and Islamic mysticism (team-taught by a rabbi and a Sufi) which I took two years ago and loved.
The Kallah Website includes a listing of all of the classes, along with information about the kids/teens program, opportunities for artists, and opportunities for practitioners of various healing arts.
I've attended the Kallah a few times before, and have blogged about it here (check out the ALEPH Kallah tag for those posts.) Every time I've attended, I've come away feeling spiritually renewed, filled-up with all kinds of wonderful teachings and ideas. I'm excited to be bringing a Torah-poetry lens to the work of writing psalms, and I'm hoping there will be 15 brave / creative souls who will want to do that with me -- but even if my class doesn't sound like your cup of tea, hopefully another of the offerings will.
Photos by Ann Silver, taken at the last Kallah, summer 2011 in Redlands, CA.