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Yom Kippur Afternoon Activities

  • 1:30 PM
  • First Unitarian Site, 175 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto

Yom Kippur 2017/5778 Afternoon Activities

1:30 – 2:30, Sanctuary

A Gentle Take on Life, Death, and Yizkor

In keeping with the spirit of both Yom Kippur and Shabbat, this workshop will provide opportunities for restful reflection, singing and chanting, honouring ancestors, and some ‘surprise’ story-telling. Active participators and quiet listeners are all welcome.

It will be of most interest to seniors, elders, and people in or approaching their ‘3rd. acts’ on this planet, but if the content interests you, we won’t turn you away for being too young!

Penny Winestock, M.SC. is a long-time member of Shir Libeynu. She is also a long-time practitioner of couple, family, group and individual counselling as well as musical, intuitive, and other juicy methods of encouraging healing and wholeness.

1:30 – 2:30, Library

Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement Lesson: Lighter Shoulders

This gentle lesson brings awareness to the relationship between the movement of the shoulders and the patterns of breathing. It is suitable for all abilities and levels of experience and can be done lying down or sitting in a chair. Please bring a yoga mat and towel to fold under your head.

Maria Meindl (M.A. G.C.F.P.) became fascinated by the simplicity and power of The Feldenkrais Method in the early 1980s and has been teaching classes to the public since 2002. She has worked with a wide variety of individuals including people living with fibromyalgia and chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease, and pelvic floor issues, as well as dancers, athletes and musicians looking to improve their performance. Maria is also a writer, active in organizing literary events. www.leslievillefeldenkrais.com 

2:45 – 3:45, Sanctuary

Mysticism and Poetry of Leonard Cohen

The Mysticism and Poetry of Leonard Cohen will look at some of Cohen’s best-known poems through a purely mystical lens, examining his unique combination of Judaism, Christianity, Eastern philosophy, and matters of the heart. Our guiding questions will be: what is it about his work that speaks to people of all faiths and cultures? What makes him a Canadian icon? How was he able to achieve such universal renown as a singer and poet?

Valeria Ryrak likes to think of herself as someone who deals in matters of the soul. It has taken her a long time to finally find that yellow brick road, which led her to doing a degree in English Language and Literature at the University of Toronto, practicing yoga, and writing both fiction and poetry. Her only real wish in life is to be able to continue her searching, writing, and questioning without interference. Everything else is mere add-on.

2:45 – 3:45, Library

Meditation on Yom Kippur

In the spirit of l’cha dumiyah t’hilla (for You, silence is praise), this will be an opportunity to sit in silent meditation in community. There will be a little chanting, and to the extent the group is inclined, some processing as we move towards the conclusion of the Days of Awe and re-entry into the workaday world. But mostly, we will support one another in simply being and breathing.

Led by Lorne Blumer, a long-time member of Shir Libeynu. Lorne, a recovering bohemian, is a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s program in Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training, blogs about spiritual reportage at Lorne Meets World, and is just launching Hineinu, an initiative for Jewish contemplative practice.

4:00 – 5:00, Sanctuary

The Prophet and the King

You saw her bathing on the roof
The moonlight and her beauty overthrew you
— “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen

A king sees something he wants but can’t have, and takes it anyway. The consequences reverberate for at least a generation. Who will dare tell the king just how wrong he was?

The story of David and Bathsheba is one of love and lust, brutality and betrayal, but it is also a story of acknowledgement and repentance. A discussion will follow the story.

Eden Nameri, a long-time member of Shir Libeynu, tells stories from the Bible that incorporate a mix of traditional and original midrash, along with plenty of personal perspective. Eden can often be heard telling stories at 1001 Friday Nights and has performed at the Toronto Storytelling Festival. Eden studied storytelling in New York with Diane Wolkstein. http://storytellingtoronto.org/story/nameri-eden/

5:15-6:15, Sanctuary

Profane, profound, and everything in between: An introduction to the wide world of the Talmud

The Talmud is the most voluminous part of our textual and scholarly heritage. Intimidating to most, but beloved of many, it combines legal texts, folklore, medicine, and the occasional dash of salacious gossip about sex organs. Come and hear about the history, the language, the structure, and the intellectual delight of delving into this wildly improbable treasure trove of our people.

Ed Weiss is a member of Shir Libeynu and a family doctor in the west end of Toronto. As a younger man, he attended an Orthodox yeshiva for many years before giving it all up for a life of liberal vegetarianism.

Click here to download a printable PDF of the Yom Kippur Activities.