Welcome to “Open My Heart: Living Jewish Prayer” from the Institute for Jewish Spirituality. Each weekday people associated with the Institute will offer a short prayer-practice, inviting you to join them. From one day to the next, the practice, the content, the words, and the voices will be different. No one presenter, and no one prayer, will necessarily work for everyone. But, our hope (and expectation) is that over time, joining in these prayers will lead you to find your own authentic and meaningful prayer practice at this time. Our hope is that these prayers will open your heart to prayer.
Look for us wherever you find your podcasts.
It's a Wrap
In the course of seven months, we've offered 55 podcasts featuring a variety of prayer practices. These programs have been downloaded nearly 30,000 times. It is time to celebrate, and to take time to envision what might come next.
May I be safe
This week we get to visit with Elana Arian, whose "Ken Yehi Ratzon" has closed our podcast. She shares her background, how she came to write Jewish music, her work as guest-artist in congregations and how that shapes her work, and how she came to write our closing tune.
Meet the Composer of "Open"
Each week we have been blessed to hear the first moments of the composition "Open" by Judith Silver. This week we meet her, and learn about how she came to write Jewish music, and how "Open" came to be. A true blessing!
Practicing with Psalm 27
We are blessed to be invited into the personal process of listening deeply to the words of Psalm 27 to open our hearts with Rabbi Debra Robbins. Her book and its practices are so rich, it is helpful to have it modeled for us, so that we can engage with the Psalm ourselves, beginning on 1 Elul (August 8, 2021), to open our own hearts along the way.
Opening Your Heart with Psalm 27
The period of time from the start of Elul to the end of Sukkot is about the same length of time from Passover to Shavuot. The former period is given focus through the recitation of Psalm 27 (and the chanting/recitation of selichot, or penitential prayers). Rabbi Debra Robbins provides us with tools to make the practice of reciting Psalm 27 a richer, deeper, and more sustained experience in her book.
The Nighttime Shema
Prayer does not have to be complex, and we don't have to go looking for it up in the heavens or over the sea. Sometimes it is just in our mouths and our hearts, in simplicity and directness. Rabbi Denise Eger shares her lifelong practice of reciting the Shema at night, when going to sleep.
Accessible and Insightful
I appreciate how this podcast explores different approaches to prayer and provides clear examples to adopt and to adapt at a personal level.