Art Green calls prayer “the living heart of Jewish faith, the daily outpouring of the soul before God.” Judaism has always tried to strike the proper balance between fixed, prescribed prayer, on the one hand, and spontaneous creative prayer, on the other. Prayer is both a deeply personal phenomenon, and one that is shared and held by the collective. At Temple Emek Shalom, we give people different outlets to gather together and express prayer. Every Friday evening we gather for a different kind of Friday night experience (see Service Descriptions for details) – there is something for everybody. Many Shabbat mornings our community also gathers for song, story and Torah discussion beginning at 10:00am. Once a month, on a Saturday evening, Rabbi Boettiger leads a Tisch and Havdalah service.
Every Wednesday morning from 8:00-8:45am there is a morning meditation in the library, and we offer twice yearly multi-day silent retreats led by Rabbis Vanessa and Joshua Boettiger, and also by guest teachers (this year Rabbi Jeff Roth and Norman Fischer will be teaching a Jewish Meditation Retreat on July 25-27, 2013, that we are sponsoring in tandem with Havurah Shir Hadash). We also gather for holiday services and celebrations – stretching from the Days of Awe in the Fall all around the calendar to Tisha B’Av in mid to late summer. There are various alternative services throughout the year on selected dates, so keep tabs on our calendar (internal link to calendar) for this, and to be kept up to date in general on TES prayer services and gatherings.
If we extend and expand our notion of prayer, we could say that our social action work is also an example of prayer. When Abraham Joshua Heschel marched with Martin Luther King on Shabbat in Selma, he famously said that his “feet are praying.” Join us for prayer in all its manifestations.