Gatherings

There is a tradition, during the “Ahavah Rabah” prayer leading up to the Sh’ma, to gather together the four tzitzit of the tallit and hold all of them in one hand. This represents gathering the four corners of the world (and probably other things – Jewish folk tradition is vast).

At Mishkan Shalom, a synagogue many of our members have belonged to, a tradition developed of everyone holding their tallitot over their heads,joining hands to create a tent/mishkan. Because this was so beautiful, and worked so well to create a physical metaphor for the community, we adapted it for our havurah. Since we took our name from the fringes/tzitzit, we pause before the Sh’ma to gather not our own tzitzit but each others. To do this, we stand, and gather close enough to create a circle in which we each grab hold of a tzitzit with each hand. Not all of us wear a tallit, but enough to do to always have enough fringes to connect us all. From within this circle, we do the following call and response, and then do the Sh’ma.

We also do a modified version during the High Holidays, which you’ll find below.

Gatherings
Elliott batTzedek

Gather your strengths
and gather your failures
Gather your kin
and gather your strangers
Gather what you love
and what you fear
Gather what you have lost
and what you have yet to find

Find the courage to proclaim
“All we gather is sacred”

Gatherings/High Holiday version
Elliott batTzedek

Gather your strengths
and gather your failures
Gather your kin
and gather your strangers
Gather what you love
and what you fear
Gather what you have done
and what you have left undone
Gather what you have lost
and what you have yet to find
Find the courage to proclaim
“All we gather is sacred”

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