CHASIDIC IDEAS & PRACTICES
These are our most popular courses in this area:
OF THE BESHT
Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan
The Ba'al Shem Tov (also known as the Besht) founded the spiritual revolution that became the Chasidic movement, in the mid-1700s.
The oral teachings of this Jewish shaman/medicine man (this is what it means to be a "ba'al shem"), are gems of transformative wisdom, and are often full of surprises.
Of the many ideas which the Besht originated, Rabbi Ruth has chosen some of her most beloved teachings which are linked to spiritual practices. You are invited to practice them between classes or keep the teachings in your hearts to use when the right time arrives...
Classes will incorporate the four worlds (levels of consciousness) of the holistic Chasidic system: Stories, Niggun, Torah and Prayer/Silence.
Rabbi Daniel Silverstein
Available whole or in 2 parts
How can the early Chasidic Masters help us to understand and harness the power of Kabbalah in our daily lives?
What are the transformative ideas and practices with which they created a mass-movement, and changed the lives of millions of people?
Join us as we explore the revolutionary lives and teachings of these Masters, and support each other in bringing their radical spiritual and psychological insights into every aspect of our lives. Our learning and practice will be guided by tradition, scholarship and the relevant insights of the contemporary mindfulness world.
The Tanya is the magnum opus of the great mystic Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, affectionately referred to as the Alter Rebbe, who founded the Chabad-Lubavitch Chasidic movement.
Tanya is based on Kabbalah, and it guides us to achieve harmony of body and soul, of earthliness and spirituality.
The Ba'al HaTanya (as the author is sometimes referred to) offers a series of practical suggestions for attaining inner harmony, always with the emphasis on joy.
In each of our eight sessions, we will learn about, and then practice together, a specific approach to opening our heart and experiencing an elevated consciousness, which through continued practice we can then integrate into every aspect of our daily lives.
The teachings of R' Kalonymous Kalman Shapira (1889-1943), also known as the Piaseczna Rebbe, and the Aish Kodesh (Holy Fire), have brought much needed soul nourishment to Jews around the world for decades, and are currently becoming increasingly popular.
As we encounter heightened uncertainty and insecurity, his voice resonates ever more deeply with us.
In his work Aish Kodesh, the Piaseczna addresses the situation of his fellow Jews with humility, authenticity and faith. Unafraid to encounter human suffering in all of its rawness, the Rebbe offers profound teachings and meditations on spiritually moving through times of profound despair and uncertainty. His teachings hold enduring relevance for us today.
TESHUVA M 'AHAVA
Rabbi Daniel Silverstein
Teshuva is returning to our highest self and our Divine potential. It is a central idea and practice in Judaism, and our sages teach that when motivated by love (ahava), it is a deeply powerful, transformative process.
Our calendar invites us to focus on Teshuva with particular attention during the Fall, as we prepare for the key festivals of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
These High Holidays are crucial opportunities to engage with Teshuva, to choose who we want to be and how to live going forward.
Together, we will explore how to open ourselves to lasting changes in our lives that Teshuva M'Ahava can bring, from the wisdom of the Torah, ancient sages, Kabbalists, Chasidic Masters and contemporary teachers.
This is the second instalment in a course that empowers us to engage experientially with foundational contemplative practices from the Jewish tradition, from text to practice.
The meditations studied and practiced in this course focus on how the body is considered as a vessel (a keli) not only for a life of holiness (kedusha) but also for spiritual experiences.
The aim of learning various Jewish Meditation practices involving the body is threefold: first, to invite us to expand our understanding of what Jewish spirituality and meditation is; second, to relate to our bodies not as separate but as an integral part of our spiritual lives; and third, to be able to integrate these practices into our daily lives.