• Teaching for Spirituality

    workshops, in-service, and family learning experiences

Radical Amazement

  We humans are spiritual beings as much as we are physical, emotional and intellectual beings.  While we pay a great deal of attention to our bodies, minds and emotional lives, we often ignore our spirituality.  Curious.

How do we cultivate what Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel called “radical amazement,” the sense of wonder and awe that babies have?

How do we see the big things like the majesty of mountains or the shifting of sands on the shoreline and the small things, like the perfection of a pine cone or the working of the pancreas, with fresh eyes, eyes awake to the wonder of all of God’s creation?

Spiritual Wondering

  How do we encourage spiritual wondering?

To be a rational adult does not mean letting go of wonder and amazement.  To be an actualized adult means cultivating these values.

Some of Judaism’s greatest legal scholars, such as Rabbi Joseph Caro and Rabbi Moses ben Nachman, the RaMBaN, were also mystics.  There was no contradiction for our great sages and there need not be a one for us.

Spiritual Direction Group Creating

Photo by Kris Lori Fuentes

Teaching for Spirituality

I work with parents, religious school teachers, and camp counselors to infuse Jewish content learning with wonder and awe and by connecting with the great Mystery we call God, Ha’Shem, the Holy One of Blessing.

We might meditate on the letters in the Aleph-Bet, the Hebrew alphabet, as well as draw them, pose as them, learn to decode them and to find them in the words of Jewish prayers.

We might look at the oft-repeated words in the siddur, the prayer book, such as kadosh/holy or baruch/blessed and share our reactions to them and the meanings they hold for us, as well as find them in the siddur.

We might discover the parallels in our own lives to those of our ancestors’ through poetic writing and song.

These are just a few of the myriad ways I teach for spirituality.

© Copyright - Lori Shaller - Martha's Vineyard Rabbi