WAKING UP TO LIFE:
THE PATH OF BRACHA
What is this course?
Brachot (blessings) play a central role in every area of Jewish practice. They accompany us at major life events and at every holiday, when performing a mitzvah and when waking up in the morning, when eating, praying, and going to sleep. And for the most part, brachot are experienced as nothing more than a formula that is recited to signify a ritual act. But at its core, the practice of making brachot is a powerful gateway to experiencing the fullness of each moment and action, and of waking ourselves up to the sacredness of life and the Divine energy that animates it.
Through in-depth study of primary texts, embodied practices and cultivating open-hearted presence, this course with Rabbi Ami Silver explores the practice of brachot to unlock their potency as an ongoing practice of mindful awareness and encountering Divine reality throughout our days and lives.
Drawing on Biblical, Rabbinic, Kabbalistic and Chassidic teachings, this six-week course invites participants to reimagine what the meaning and experience is all about. The text study will open up and transform our understanding of the practice of brachot, and the applied practices then bring these teachings to life through the prism of our own bodies, feeling, and awareness.
The course will cover topics such as:
The multiple meanings of the word “bracha” / ברכה and their applications in intention and practice
The spiritual import of the act of reciting brachot
Experiencing brachot as a mindful practice of waking up to life
Exploring the particular practices of the set of morning brachot, and select brachot that appear regularly in the prayer liturgy
All texts are provided in Hebrew and English translation. This course is open to novices and advanced learners of all backgrounds and orientations.
How does it work?
The course consists of six sessions, of approximately 1-1.25 hours each. Participants are invited to join the live Zoom sessions, and each session will be recorded and shared with all course participants to enjoy at their own leisure and convenience.
Each session includes studying primary texts as well as a guided practice to ground the learning in embodied experience. Depending on the particular material, the practice will either be part of the session or will be sent by the teacher following the learning session.
Registrants gain lifetime access to all the course materials and are also invited to join a Whatsapp group facilitated by Rav Ami where course members can give and receive support from one another, ask questions and share their experiences along the way.
Dates and Times
The course will meet on Sundays @8:30pm Israel time / 6:30pm UK / 1:30pm US Eastern / 10:30am US Pacific and the relevant hours in your time zones.
*Please note that Israel and the UK will be changing their clocks on October 31, and the US will do the same on November 7, causing a shift in the schedule for the session on Oct. 31. The time will remain at 8:30pm Israel time, which will be one hour later than usual for US participants.
"I have been learning from Rabbi Ami Silver for the past five years. He has a unique gift in teaching his students, with a special kindness and down to earth method of explaining to everyone who learns Torah with him, a deeper sense of its relevance in our lives, and that it is deeply rooted inside of us."
- Carter Wise
"I have been privileged to be a student of R. Ami... R. Ami’s insights into Tshuva resonated deeply with me and allowed me to come into this period of time in a new way. I was able to explore deeply who I was in the context of a loving God who wants me to live as fully as possible in this life. Being a part of R. Ami’s learning community during this time allowed me to come into one of the most profound relationships with myself, my community and Hashem during the High Holidays. I felt truly that I had come into a new beginning. I highly recommend learning with R. Ami."
- Anne Seham
"Rabbi Ami is the kind of teacher who can make you forget you're in a "class." Nothing feels formal or formulaic; rather Ami shares his incredible depth of knowledge with a care and gentleness that feels like you're engaged in an in-depth conversation, soul to soul. He creates a space that is built of acceptance, curiosity, and devotion to the Jewish spiritual path. After learning with him for over a year in various contexts, I can honestly say that if he's teaching it, no matter what it is, it's worthwhile to sign up because it is sure to fill you with inspiration and meaning."
- Ariel Hendelman