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What is the relationship between meditation and prayer in Judaism?


The prayers of our Siddur (prayerbook) were composed to evoke transformative spiritual experiences. In other words, they are highly effective meditative exercises for growth and healing, which we can all use.


In this course, we focus on certain key prayers from the daily Morning Service (Shacharit). We learn their texts, and commentaries on them from our teachers through the centuries, who have understood each prayer as an invitation into specific meditative exercises for cultivating greater self-awareness, gratitude, empathy, focus, love, joy, forgiveness, resilience, creativity, connection or wholeness.


We then practice some of these meditative exercises, creating a powerful connection between each prayer and our own consciousness that we can forever draw upon. Each prayer becomes a resource that we can harness to support our personal journey of becoming our best possible selves.

The course is an experiential journey through our morning prayer service, which the Kabbalists relate to the Four Worlds of our human existence (see below).


All texts are provided with clear line-by-line translations, and no prior knowledge or experience with the subject matter is necessary. This course is open to novices and advanced learners of all backgrounds and orientations.

How does it work?

The course consists of 18 recorded sessions, which participants can watch at your own convenience:


The first 8 sessions are mostly text-based, looking at the prayers of the Morning Service, and commentaries on them.


The second set of 10 sessions consist mostly of guided meditative practices or exercises, based on the prayers of the Morning Service.


The 8 text-based sessions are 75 minutes each and consist mostly of discussion of the prayers themselves, and commentaries on them from ancient, medieval, kabbalistic, Chasidic and modern sources. These 8 sessions progress through each stage of the Morning Service, from start to finish.


The final segment of each of these sessions is a guided meditative practice or exercise based on some of the texts studied in the session. Practices include guided visualizations, embodied practices, writing exercises, chanting etc.


The 10 practice-based sessions, which are each an hour long, consist of three guided meditative exercises based on the prayers of the Morning Service. Practices include guided visualizations, embodied practices, writing exercises, chanting etc. These 10 sessions also progress through each stage of the service, from start to finish.



Participants receive:


1) Video recordings of each session to enjoy at your own convenience.

2) Printable handouts of sources, including the prayers themselves and commentaries on them, provided in full translation with introductory comments and guiding questions.

3) Clear instructions for guided practices or exercises for almost every prayer in the Morning Service, based on the texts provided.

4) An open channel to Rabbi Daniel.


The Four Worlds of Kabbalah and the Morning Service


Together, we travel through what the Kabbalists identify as the Four Worlds of our Morning Service:


1) Physical, embodied sensation and orientation (Assiyah) - this includes the Morning Blessings and other opening prayers. Here we will learn about and practice coming into presence, deeper awareness and appreciation of our own bodies and the concentric circles of other beings we are connected to.


2) Our emotional lives (Yetzirah) - this includes the Verses of Praise (Pesukei DeZimra) which our sages proscribed as a warmup for the primary prayers. Here we will learn about and practice connecting with and cultivate healthy and supportive emotions such as gratitude, joy, generosity and trust.

3) Thoughts and intellect (Beriah) - this includes the Shema and the blessings around it. Here we will learn about and practice attuning ourselves to the wonder of creation, the infinite love that is our birthright and the glue that unites all things, and the mystery of the Oneness that is the Source of all.


4) Spirituality and the life of our soul, our deepest self (Atzilut) - this includes the Amidah, the silent standing prayer. Here we will learn about and practice the three stages of this ancient, prophetic prayer: praise; requesting the fulfilment of our needs; and thanksgiving. And finally, we will pray for Shalom - peace and wholeness, for ourselves and the world.




"Rabbi Daniel's knowledge and engaging teaching style has been transformative in deepening my spiritual practice in a subject dearest to my heart. He's truly fulfilling the mitzvah of Talmud Torah."

​- Carmella Michals

"Learning with Rav Daniel is a wonderful experience. In his classes he brings an extraordinary range of texts from our tradition and makes them meaningful for our lives today. His deep personal integrity, wisdom and spirituality constantly inspire me to walk the Jewish spiritual path and help me with my own awakening and development."

- Rabbi Danny Newman, Founding Partner, HaMakom


"When learning with Rav Daniel, I feel the inner peace and joy that comes with learning from a teacher who is scholarly, spiritual, and down-to-earth. I have also gleaned extremely useful tools in learning how to approach Jewish texts and tradition and how to bring meditative spiritual practice into my life, all in a loving and open-minded way."

- Shira Sacks 


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