Rabbi Batsheva Meiri ’96, Rabbi of Congregation Beth HaTephila in Asheville, NC, and researcher, yogi, and meditation teacher, is co-leading the Or HaLev Silent Jewish Meditation Retreat on May 12-19, 2019 in Los Angeles with Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels. The retreat is managed by HUC-JIR second-year rabbinical student Paige Lincenberg. Throughout the retreat, Rabbis Meiri and Jacobson-Maisels will interweave wisdom from rabbinical texts and Jewish liturgy into meditation and teachings, creating a powerful space for exploration and insight.
“As Klei Kodesh, we have the profound privilege of tending to the hearts and souls of our people. It is demanding work, requiring that we have a deep reservoir of patience, fortitude, clarity, and humor,” says Rabbi Meiri. “We are asked to both listen and discern what needs to be heard. In the silence of retreat, one has the rare opportunity to tend to an equally important soul with the same measures of love, compassion, and presence; our own. Contemplative practice has both transformed and reinvigorated my life and attending silent retreats has been an essential tool in remaining skillful, alive, and engaged as a rabbi and as a human being.”
The week-long meditation retreat offers concrete tools to access our joyful, free Divine nature, and to open our hearts. Using the vehicle of silence, mindfulness, and a variety of Jewish meditation approaches, the retreat will help you to look deeply into life. Daily instruction in meditation will help guide both beginners and advanced practitioners into the sacred space of the retreat process. There will be teachings and times for Q&A, as well as small group and private interviews with the instructors. Throughout the retreat, we will maintain social silence. The retreat also includes daily periods of prayer, chant, and yoga, and a deep celebration of Shabbat.
HUC-JIR rabbinical student Paige Lincenberg, the Or HaLev Retreat Manager, states, “My spiritual and philosophical journey of meditation with Or HaLev deeply influences every aspect of my rabbinical studies at HUC-JIR. Through incorporating meditative chanting into my tefillah leading, weaving the rabbis' nightly teachings into my Midrash and Prophets classes, and utilizing mindfulness within pastoral care for my congregants at my student pulpit, I am eternally grateful for the wisdom and insight I have gained through my work with Or HaLev. I recommend this gift of retreat not only to all rabbis and rabbinical students, but to all human beings.”