CRC holds weekend of events

Central Reform Congregation welcomes Rabbi Elliot K. Ginsburg for its 2008 Spiritual Enrichment Weekend, from Feb. 29 to March, called “Deepening Our Experiences of Shabbat – A Weekend with Rabbi Elliot Ginsburg, Ph.D.

Rabbi Elliot K. Ginsburg is Associate Professor of Jewish Thought and Mysticism at the University of Michigan, and rabbi of the Pardes Hannah minyan in Ann Arbor. He received his PhD in Religious Studies with a Concentration in Judaica from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, and taught for nine years at Oberlin College, before coming to Michigan. Ginsburg has written two books on the kabbalistic celebration of the Shabbat and is currently working two books: a scholarly study of Jewish mystical prayer and meditation; and a multi-tiered study of Judaism as spiritual practice. He has published in an array of scholarly journals and has taught in syna-gogues, universities, and spiritual retreat settings in the United States, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. Elliot lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, their three wonderful children, and their three mostly wonderful cats.

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Kabbalat Shabbat: Holy Ground: Entering the Mystical Sabbath

Friday, February 29, 7:30 pm


To enter Shabbat, the Kabbalists say, is to enter holy ground, to come home to the divinity in ourselves and others. It is a day of deep and joyous transformation (of time, divinity, and person) and a day of multi-tiered tikkun or restoration of relationships, ecosystem, and soul. Drawing on Abraham Joshua Heschel, the Zohar and Nahman of Breslov, Rabbi Ginsburg introduces the theme of Holy Pausing/Rest, and suggests several ways for more fully entering the day.

Shabbat Morning: Sacred Space/Sacred Time

Saturday, March 1, 10:00 am – noon

A joyful worship service and text study to explore ways to celebrate the inner rhythms or “seasons ” of Shabbat and the ebb and flow of Jewish spiritual life. We will move into Havdalah which we will mark both as a farewell to Shabbat and as a kiddush for the coming week.

Lunch and Learn: Shatteredness and Wholeness: Breaking the Heart Open

Saturday, March 1, 12:30 – 2:00 pm

In this session, we explore the dialectic between shatteredness and wholeness, suffering and joy, that are part of any engaged spiritual life. As the Talmud put it, “both the whole tablets and the shattered tablets lie in the holy Ark. ” Drawing on midrashic and Jewish mystical texts, we examine the practice of breaking the heart open; the role of of “dark moments ” in spiritual growth, as well one source that points toward renewed hope: moving toward a theology of Resilience.

Et Ratzon: Teachings for Late Shabbat Afternoonand Havdalah

Saturday, March 1, 5:30 – 7:00 pm

According to the kabbalists, the waning hours of Shabbat are a time of special openness and favor, et ratzon. Through chant, meditation and texts we will extend and deepen our experience of Shabbat and learn how to take some of Shabbat’s healing presence into the week.

Central Reform Congregation is located at 5020 Waterman Blvd.