Alternative Spiritual Experiences
Are you interested healing circles, alternative or meditative worship and/or experiential inspirational concerts? Together with Rabbi Louis Rieser, Rahel developed a unique worship service based on her monumental musical work, Tikkun, which is based on the "Tikkun HaKlali" ten healing psalms revealed by Rebbe Nachman z"l.
New Liturgical Works
Rahel's work as a cantorial soloist in conjunction with rabbi's and in synagogues throughout New England, inspired her to write new music to prayers said in regular worship. You are welcome to introduce the songs to your community. Please remember to give proper credit and mention Rahel's name as the composer when you do!
Jewish & Israeli Music
Rahel's musical repertoire includes a huge selection of beautiful Jewish and Israeli songs sung in Hebrew and Yiddish. Listen!
Rahel is a founding member of Israel's original all-woman band, Tofa'ah, a group of women who, since 1980, have been performing and releasing recordings of Jewish music by and for women. Tofa'ah has had a profound impact on a generation of observant and secular women and the Jewish music scene in Israel.
Sharing the Miracle
Yona Yacobovitch is the founder and drummer of the Tofa'ah band. She is a miracle worker. Still, everyone needs help. Read her story and view the video. If you would like to find out how to help, please contact me and I will send you the details.
"The music beckons, invites you to sit down, listen a while, let your thoughts float..." - Telegraph
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan z"l, in his book, "Meditation and the Bible" defines the Hebrew word for contemplation, "hitbonenut": "This word, hitbonenut, is the reflexive of the root bin, meaning "to understand." It is from this root also that the word binah, meaning "understanding”, is derived. Hitbonenut literally means "making oneself understand'; that is, contemplating something so deeply and completely that one makes himself understand it in all its aspects. The connotation of hitbonenut - contemplation - is to gaze and stare at something, either visually or mentally, until one understands it thoroughly. This word is also used with respect to G-D, and in this sense, it is often a preparation for the mystical state. We thus find such verses as:
"Contemplate [hitbonen] the wonders of G-D" (Job 37;14);
"Contemplate the love of G-D" (Psalms 107:43).
When a person intensely focuses on or gazes at (in her inner mind's eye) so intensely on G-D (or perhaps, G-D's manifestations in the world) that her own ego-self recedes and an awareness of G-D comes to the forefront, she can become, as Nachmanides taught, 'an abode of Shechinah.' Living in this state, as an abode of the Shechinah, was likely what the psalmist described when he wrote the beautiful words of yearning expressed in Psalm 27. It is what we might call a contemplative state of being."
Below are quotes about contemplation from the book, "The Practice of Spiritual Direction" by William A. Barry and William J. Connolly:
“Contemplating... begins when a person stops being totally preoccupied with his own concerns and let's another person, event, or object take his attention.... “
“Contemplation leads to, or rather is the experience of, transcendence - that is, of forgetfulness of self and of everyone and everything else except the contemplated object."
The quote below is from the book, "Spiritual Direction as a Contemplative Practice" edited by Rabbi Howard Avrum Addison and Barbara Eve Breitman:
“Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polennoye, a great Hasidic teacher, once said that one aspect of the excellence of the early Sages was that while they were engaged in mundane work with their physical limbs, their minds and souls were simultaneously attached to G-D [and G-D's Torah]. For contemporary Jews, living a contemplative life means using our limbs and all the parts of our physical beings to be fully engaged in the world, while having our souls and hearts attached to G-D. If more of us were to do so, we can only imagine how much better the world would be.”
Join an on-line interactive group based on the Psalms and more!
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