Fall Class: Torah as Inner Journey

Join us in a new class offering this fall we’re calling Torah as Inner Journey: a dive into early chassidic mysticism.

Walk the terrain where the intellect meets the soul with Asiyah’s Rabbi David Curiel and rabbinic intern Matt Ponak in this exploration of chassidic mysticism through the teachings of two early rebbes: Menachem Nochum Twersky, known as the Chernobyler rebbe, and Rebbe Nachman of Bratslav.

This will be a journey in dropping into the deep end of kabbalah through chassidic thought, with frequent digressions to bouy you along. The course assumes no prior knowledge of the subject or Hebrew; all levels welcome!

Start and end time and dates: 8 successive Mondays starting Oct 28th, 7:30-9:00 @ Workbar Union (31 Union Square, Somerville, MA 02143)

Elul resources to kick off your High Holy Days prep

 
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Elul is nearly upon us!

This time is traditionally associated with the phrase haMelech basadeh/the King is in the field. In the metaphor where God is Ruler—seated on a throne—this is an unusual place for God to be: in the field, accessible, nonhierarchical. To those of us for whom that metaphor doesn’t work, maybe one of Krista Tippett’s favorite phrases, the Celtic image of a “thin veil” between our world and the Mysteries of Divinity, is more evocative.

Elul is a time when we have the opportunity to touch into that deepest part of ourselves and do a chesbon hanefesh/spiritual self-reckoning. A spiritually connected experience of the High Holy Days depends on some of this heavy soul-lifting during Elul. Here are some resources to help you in this journey:

 

Community d'var by Danielle Smith

Community d'var by Danielle Smith

Each year on Pesach, we say, “In every generation, every person is obligated to see themselves as if they (themselves) had come out of Egypt. בְּכָל־דּוֹר וָדוֹר חַיָּב אָדָם לִרְאוֹת אֶת־עַצְמוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא יָצָא מִמִּצְרַיִם--b'chol dor vador, chayav adam lirot et atzmo k'ilu hu yatza mimitzrayim.” We know, “Egypt” in this case, is a stand in for slavery, or a place and time in which we were not truly free. We are not only supposed to “remember” our times of bondage, but see ourselves in it. Why is it so important for us to reflect on the times when we were not free, and what can we learn from these moments?

Community d'var Torah by Brianna Lavelle

Community d'var Torah by Brianna Lavelle

This week’s Torah portion, Bechukotai, is largely about consequences. When I first skimmed through it, I’ll admit I was mildly disappointed, because this parsha seemed so formulaic: if you follow God’s laws, God will grant you peace and prosperity. If you violate God’s laws, God will reign down on you a long and terrifying list of punishments. But I don’t believe in a God that sits up in the clouds, judging and punishing me for my transgressions. And because I don’t believe in that God, this parsha seemed near impossible to relate to. 

Winter Village Gathering Recap

On Feb. 10, the Asiyah community convened our second Village Gathering—an opportunity to come together and dive deep into thinking about community formation. This time around, our conversation centered on what it means to belong. Our goal was to further Asiyah connections/community-building and envision what belonging to Asiyah might be, especially in light of the Asiyah Cultivation Crew’s (ACC) active planning of a partnership structure for Asiyah.