February 2023: I say “tulips”

We met for our 16th Anniversary – 16 years as a feminist, non-zionist havurah!

Our liturgy was a combination of honoring trees and differing/overlapping/even contradictory images of divinity. We were formed to take seriously a question posed by theologian Rachel Adler: “If you don’t mean the words you are saying when you pray, what are you doing?” so our liturgy offers up many metaphors, providing opportunities for all of our hearts to find language we need.

Before we said the Shehecheyanu for our anniversary, we paused for this blessing from the Chief Rabbi of Turkey, Rabbi Isak Haleva, shared for his country last Tuesday:

Grant patience, fortitude and courage to our brothers and sisters who are currently waiting to be rescued under the rubble, and bestow strength, strength and success to the officials who sacrifice to bring them back to their families and society as soon as possible. Make those who are homeless, homeless and shelterless in this winter cold, innocent of all kinds of diseases and harm, make the place of our brothers and sisters who lost their lives a paradise, and grant immediate healing to our wounded, My God, who will keep us, our nation, our country and all humanity free from such disasters.

For our torah discussion, we talked about what divinity/holiness means for each of us, and the challenge that very idea of human-like god/he has been for us over our lives. So much richness in this discussion, and also much agreement that we do find meaning and holiness in connect and community. (Not that surprising for people drawn to a havurah!)

Find our liturgy here.

Two book recommendations from our conversations:

Samira Mehta, “The Racism of People Who Love You: Essays on Mixed Race Belonging”

Toba Spitzer: “God is Here: Reimagining the Divine”

Read about effect of the earthquake on the 2500 year old Jewish community in Antakya, Turkey. Rescuers were able to save the 500 year old Torah scrolls from the damaged synagogue, but the head of the local community and his wife were killed when their home collapsed.

Fringes was also founded to be a liturgy lab, and today premiered Elliott’s new translation/adaptation of the body blessing.

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