Passover: Prepare for the Holiday & Celebrate Our Festival of Freedom

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Mishkan Shalom offers an overflowing plate of gatherings, services and resources to help you prepare for and celebrate the Passover holiday and explore ways of Counting the Omer. See our full schedule and access all resources.

Scroll down to access additional resources to prepare for and celebrate the holiday.

[Illustration by Jessica Sporn.]

Preparing for Passover:

Saturday, April 9: 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Preparing the Heart and Soul for Pesach: Special Holiday Torah Study
Led by Rabbi Yael Levy

We will explore Torah texts that point the way toward Passover and guide us in practices and reflections that bring meaning and depth to this season.

Wednesday, April 13: 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Lifelong Learning: Leaving the Narrow Places: Creating a Meaningful Passover Journey
Led by Rabbi Yael Levy

The Passover Seder, or “order,” is one of the most widely observed and engaging of all Jewish ritual events. We will examine the rituals and teachings of Passover, with the aim of discovering how this festival is speaking to our hearts and souls. Explore ways to blend tradition and family customs with relevant and contemporary practice to create a rich, participatory, Passover experience for all.

Rabbi Yael Levy’s approach to mindfulness is deeply rooted in Jewish tradition. It grows out of her deep personal commitment to spiritual practice and a passionate belief in its potential to change not only individuals but also the world. Rabbi Yael has been with Mishkan Shalom for 20 years and has developed the A Way In: Jewish Mindfulness Organization over the past seven years.

$9.00 members / $18.00 non-members

Register online: Making Passover Meaningful

Celebrating Passover:

Wednesday, April 20: 6:15 p.m.

Congregational School Model Seder

Annual school-wide holiday celebration.

Saturday, April 23: 10:00 a.m.

Shabbat Morning Passover Service & Kiddush Luncheon (First Day)
Led by Rabbi Yael Levy

Come celebrate the first day of Passover with songs of Hallel and prayers and meditations to soften the heart and open possibilities. Rejoice in Shabbat and in our Festival of Freedom together with your community.

Join us after services for a Passover Kiddush Lunch with Rabbi Yael.

Saturday, April 30: 10:00 a.m.

Shabbat Morning Passover Service & Kiddush Luncheon (Last Day)
Led by Rabbis Shawn & Simcha Zevit and Rabbinic Intern Julie Benioff

Last day of Passover service with Hallel and Yizkor prayers.

Join us after services for a Passover Kiddush Lunch with Rabbis Shawn & Simcha and Julie.

Preparing for and Counting the Omer:

Sundays: April 17 & May 22, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. in the Social Hall

Lifelong Learning: Counting the Omer with Yin Yoga & Visual Journaling
Led by Elise Luce Kraemer and Susan Richards

Learn somatic and creative tools to connect more deeply with the sacred practice of counting the Omer, the 49-day period from the second day of Passover to Shavuot. Elise will teach a series of gentle poses representing seven sefirot (attributes of God) that can be used each evening while counting the Omer. Susan, an artist and SoulCollage® facilitator, will introduce a method of visual journaling that each participant will personalize. You will create your very own visual journal page during each class.

Elise Luce Kraemer is a certified Yin Yoga teacher, artist and lawyer.

Susan Richards says, “Being a SoulCollage® Facilitator is the perfect integration of my life-long spiritual pursuits, my 30 years as a psychotherapist in private practice in Solana Beach, California and my current life as a full-time artist in the Philadelphia area.” For more information, see http://www.soulcollage.com/susan-richards-lcsw.

$18.00 members  / $36.00 non-members

Register online: Counting the Omer with Yin Yoga & Visual Journaling

Saturday, May 21, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Shavuot and Omer Study
Led by Rabbi Yael Levy

Come to services an hour early and join us to explore the deep spiritual resonance of Shavuot through the Omer counting practice and the conclusion of the seven week journey that began with Passover.

Rabbi Yael Levy’s approach to mindfulness is deeply rooted in Jewish tradition. It grows out of her deep personal commitment to spiritual practice and a passionate belief in its potential to change not only individuals but also the world. Rabbi Yael has been with Mishkan Shalom for 20 years and has developed the A Way In Jewish Mindfulness Organization over the past seven years.

Passover Songs, Poetry, Prayers & Readings

Freedom (Passover Poem)

by Rabbi Shawn Israel Zevit

Gathering the mixed multitudes in my soul
I rummage through my belongings
In preparation for leave-taking
What aspects of myself
Do I need to make the journey
What can I leave behind
To memory in the narrow places

Maybe this year, we will go out together
In broad daylight
Not in the still of the night
In no haste
Soul in Soul
Holding each other in loving compassion
Knowing we will cross together
Finding home at last
In the depth of Divine waters
That part willingly
On the shores of a wilderness

What if no one drowned this year
And You need not weep
For any of Your lost children
So, let’s not leave in haste this year
But see the blessings that even
The narrow places have offered us
For no place is without You
Freedom is in Your arms
Wherever we may be
On the journey.

Life: Songs for the Seasons and Cycles of Life Rabbi Shawn's CD includes songs for Passover.

A Night of Questions (CD) This special musical collection features 23 traditional folk tunes that have been sung at seder tables for centures, along with 7 original contemporary songs. Page references allow you to use the CD to accompany A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah. (Recorded by Mishkan’s own Rabbi Shawn Zevit, Rabbi Margot Stein, Rabbi Myriam Klotz as well as Rabbi Rayzel Raphael, Rabbi Micah Becker-Klein and Juliet Spitzer.)

Going Toward Passover by Rabbi Yael Levy

Bedikat Chametz A kavannah for Bedikat Chametz, the Search for Chametz

Kiddush & Shehecheyanu for Passover Audio Clip, Shabbat Unplugged

Matzah: Bread of Affliction, Bread of Hope and Possibility Rabbi Yael Levy, A Way In: Jewish Mindfulness Organization

LO DAYENU! It is Not Enough, by Rabbi Leila Gal Berner

Hassal Siddur Pesach: "Our Passover Seder is Concluded" Text, Translation & Audio Clip, Shabbat Unplugged

Fifty Ways to Leave Your Pharoah (with apologies to Paul Simon: Pesedicka lyrics by Yeshaya Douglas Ballon with additions from Rabbi Shawn Zevit)

Non-Violent Had Gadya, by Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank

Passover Resources from the Reconstructionist Movement

A Night of Questions: A Passover Haggadah Beautifully illustrated Haggadah & CD available from The Reconstructionist Press: Prayers, text, notes, songs, translations, transliterations, commentary & more. Discounts offered on quantities of 5 or more.

Listen to Heart, Mind and Spirit audio program on the holiday of Passover. Rabbi Shawn Zevit and Rabbi Jacob Staub

Listen to Heart, Mind and Spirit audio program on the Passover seder. Rabbi Shawn Zevit and Rabbi Richard Hirsh

Passover Resources from the Reconstructionist Movement

Counting the Omer

Journey Through the Wilderness:
A Mindfulness Approach to the Ancient Jewish Practice of Counting the Omer

by Rabbi Yael Levy

Rabbi Yael gathers wisdom from Psalms and the Jewish mystical tradition into a unique Mindfulness approach to the ancient Jewish practice of Counting the Omer during the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot.

This 100-page, full-color guide includes the Omer blessings in Hebrew and English, daily teachings and intentions, pages for reflections and photographs to inspire meditation.

Rich resources for a Mindfulness approach to celebrating Passover and the ancient Jewish practice of Counting the Omer can be found at: A Way In: Center for Jewish Mindfulness.

Wishing you a zissen Pesach...a sweet and happy Passover holiday!

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