Adapted by Laura Bellows of the Teva Learning Alliance from Spirit in Nature: Teaching Judaism and Ecology on the Trail by Matt Biers-Ariel, Deborah Newbrun, and Michal Fox Smart (Behrman House, 2000).
Ages: 6 and up
Setting: Outdoors, in a colorful, biodiverse natural area
Rabbi Marcia Prager speaks about teaching Blessings to Bar and Bat Mitzvah students. Rabbi Prager is a teacher, storyteller, artist and therapist living and working in the Mt. Airy community of Philadelphia. A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, she also holds the personal smicha (rabbinic ordination) of Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, the visionary leader of the Jewish Renewal Movement, with whom she has continued to work closely. She is the author of The Path of Blessing: Experiencing the Energy and Abundance of the Divine and co-director of the Davvenen Leadership Training Institute.
Learn Rabbi Nachman's approach to hitbodedut--alone time for spiritual practice.
Presented by Rabbi Mike Comins with commentary from Rabbis Getzel Davis of the Harvard University Hillel, Lavey Derby, current Director of Jewish Life at the Peninsula Jewish Community Center, and Stephen Cohen, senior rabbi of Congregation B'nai B'rith in Santa Barbara, California.
Learn the practice of Writing a Psalm with TorahTrek founder Rabbi Mike Comins.
Learn the practice of meditative walking with TorahTrek founder Rabbi Mike Comins.
This is a core practice in TorahTrek programs. Especially when walking down a trail, it is easy to get lost in thought about the past or the future. This mindfulness practice tethers the mind to the present moment by directing one’s attention on three foci in the here and now.
Unlike other walking meditations, which view the outside world as a distraction, this practice is designed to increase the quality of our perception of the natural world. In Martin Buber’s terms, we become receptive to all that nature is presenting to us, an I ready to receive a Thou.
I have taught this practice for over a decade. When I run into people and ask them, what stuck with you that you learned on a TorahTrek program five or ten years ago, this practice is the one mentioned most.
A full written explanation is found on page 60 of my book, A Wild Faith.
Rabbi Mike Comins
Through the Waters
Chant is a powerful practice in wilderness.
Rabbi Shefa Gold (www.RabbiShefaGold.com) is a leader in Aleph: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal and received her ordination both from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. She is the director of C-DEEP, The Center for Devotional, Energy and Ecstatic Practice. Shefa composes and performs spiritual music, has produced ten albums, and her liturgies have been published in several new prayerbooks. She teaches workshops and retreats on the theory and art of Chanting, and trains Chant Leaders in Kol Zimra, a two year program for rabbis, cantors and lay leaders. Shefa is the author of The Magic of Chant (Jewish Lights), Torah Journeys: The Inner Path to the Promised Land and In the Fever of Love: An Illumination of the Song of Songs.
Learn how to select a pasuk, a verse from either the Siddur (prayerbook) or the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), and take it with you in wilderness. As the day unfolds, so might the layers of understanding and meaning that your pasuk has for you!
Rabbi Mike Comins shares the practice of praying at sunrise or sunset in wilderness.
Welcome to the TorahTrek eJournal! Here you will find videos, interviews, articles, photos, and educational materials on the interconnections between Judaism, wilderness, spiritual practice and sustainability. Our goal is to support the spiritual/ethical lives of individuals, enliven and strengthen the Jewish community, and promote a sustainable society living in balance with the earth. Explore the eJournal by clicking on the topics below. Please share these resources with your friends!