Praying Anew: Rediscovering Tefillah in a Time of Crisis
With Rabbi Elie Kaunfer
The Jewish prayerbook is a collage of texts that reflect our deepest emotions, longings and experiences. This is especially true in a time of crisis, when our prayers take on new urgency. But how and why do a collection of ancient texts resonate with a contemporary global emergency? What is it about these words that help us unlock critical perspectives about ourselves and our world? Connect with Hadar virtually as Rabbi Elie Kaunfer unearths fresh meaning in our Tefillot and discusses how our prayers are especially relevant today.
Lecture 1: The Essence of Kaddish: Saying Kaddish in a World Without Minyanim
Monday April 27th
Mourner’s Kaddish was meant to be said in a minyan. But what happens when you can’t do that? We will look at the narrative backstory to the Mourner’s Kaddish to draw some broader lessons about the prayer’s meaning with an eye toward practical advice for mourners unable to say the kaddish in public. We will also explore some Medieval texts that were offered as substitutes for saying the kaddish in a minyan.
Lecture 2: What Healing Are We Praying For? The Thrice-Daily Prayer for Health
Monday May 4th
The eighth blessing of the amidah asks for God to heal us and save us. What kind of healing might we be asking for in this prayer? Is it personal or communal health? Body or spirit? We will examine the background texts of this prayer to open a wider lens on the meaning of praying to God for health.
Lecture 3: In My Own Words: Personal, Spontaneous Prayer in Daily Jewish Practice
Monday May 11th
Jewish prayer is often focused on specific texts that hardly change over the years. But where is the space for personal prayer? In this time of crisis, when our desired prayers are often very specific and personal, we will look at the structure for personal prayer in the context of the fixed liturgy.