This presentation will explore the mystical practices of Judaism through dialogue, interactive discussion, music and prayer. Participants will have an opportunity to understand some Jewish traditions, basic foundational beliefs including the esoteric studies of Kabbalah, and modern day practices as they relate fundamentally to the Old Testament (Torah) texts.
In this talk participants will
- Learn about traditional life cycle practices
- Experience reflection through a “Jewish” lens
- Participate in musical Hebrew chants including those by Rabbi Shlomo Carlbach
- Discover connections between historical and modern day practices
- Consider similarities and differences with other mystic practices
- Share questions, comments and appreciations
Bio – Amy Block
Amy’s Jewish journey began in New York City in the 50’s when and where she was born. Disenchanted with the life and politics in the U.S. at the time, she left the country for good. Israel was the one and only place where, at 14 years old she felt ‘at home’. There she completed high school and began university studies. She also met a Canadian boy and moved to Canada where she has lived ever since.
Amy maintained her Jewish journey throughout her life, teaching children and young adolescents and, along the way opened up to recognize the similar foundation of spiritual grounding offered by all religions. A practicing Yogi as well as a practicing Jew, Amy believes that our religious expression is what makes us unique, interesting and, allows us all to contribute to “tikkun olam” (repairing the world) in our own special way.
Bio – Paul Gellman
Paul is a singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, performer and coach based on Gabriola Island, B.C. Paul and Amy met in 1992, and, with their blended family of 7 children, joined Congregation Darchei Noam, Toronto’s Reconstructionist Synagogue the following year. They both became involved in many aspects of the community, Paul as one of the “house” musicians and prayer leaders. Paul met Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in 1976, and after having been away from Jewish life and practice for many years, found a renewed way of being Jewish, both relevant and meaningful for today. Shlomo’s music and stories and spiritual message played a significant role, and Paul has stayed involved with progressive Judaism ever since.