Introducing the Graceful Living Deck
The Graceful Living deck is a deck of cards that doubles as a tool for spiritual life, designed by Steve Silbert and featuring teachings distilled from Rabbi Mike Moskowitz’s Graceful Masculinity, a volume of Torah essays that draws on a wide range of classical Jewish teachings in service of creating a society where all gender expressions are understood as reflections of the Divine. (Those essays were originally published here at Builders Blog as part of #MenschUp!)
Each card features a verse from a different parsha (Torah portion) and a teaching rooted in that verse, alongside a character-development focus. These are playing cards with a spiritual twist, since each card also features a teaching or opportunity for reflection. They can be used to uplift “regular” card games, of course.
Here are some ideas for how to use them:
Ways to Use This Deck
(aside from using them to play your favorite card games, of course!)
Meditation / Reflection
- Meditate on a question. Then draw a card for its answer.
- Meditate on a question. Then draw three cards. The first represents the past; the second, the present; the third one, the future. How do these teachings speak to you in that framework?
- Draw a card before a Shabbat meal and use it to spark conversation at the table.
- Draw a card before havdalah as an intention for the new week.
- Have students draw a card at the start of a Hebrew school class, and talk about the qualities on their cards and how they will try to embody them.
- Draw the card that goes with a Torah portion, and use what’s there to spark part of a d’var Torah or teaching.
- Keep a deck of these cards in your tallit bag, and draw one before or during prayer.
If you have other ideas for how to use them, let us know — we want to know how these cards actually work for you! They’re available for $18 here at TheGameCrafter.
Rabbi Mike Moskowitz, a founding builder at Bayit and also a member of Bayit’s Board, serves as Scholar-in-Residence for Queer and Trans Jewish Studies at Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, a flagship LGBTQIA+ synagogue in New York City.