Liturgical Arts for Our Times

In summer 2020, Bayit convened a pluralistic group of rabbis, liturgists, and artists to collaboratively create liturgy for our times. Together Bayit’s liturgical arts working group co-creates new prayers, poems, and artwork: tools for “building Jewish” that speak to the spiritual needs of this moment and beyond. Here are our emerging offerings. 

 


Connections – Liturgy, Poetry, and Art for Tu BiShvat

An interdisciplinary and pluralist collection of new work for Tu BiShvat, the New Year of the Trees: “TU biShvat is an invitation to focus on the natural world surrounding us–and at the same time, it makes us aware of our connectedness to each other, to the flow of time and stories, to the flow of cyclical renewal, to the spiritual worlds…This year, connection also is digital–we use a digital ecosystem to supplement a natural one…”

Here are prayers and practices for solitary pandemic celebration, meditations on trees in urban settings, coloring pages for contemplative creativity, prayers looking ahead to the year 2030, and more.

This collection was co-created by Trisha Arlin, R. Rachel Barenblat, R. Allie Fischman, R. Dara Lithwick, R. David Evan Markus, R. Sonja Keren Pilz, and Steve Silbert, and is intended for use by individuals and communities across and beyond the denominational spectrum. Read excerpts and download here: Connections.


Great Miracles Happen Here

This new collaborative offering from Bayit’s liturgical arts working group comes to bring light in dark times. Here you’ll find new liturgy (including an “Al HaNisim” looking back on the miracles we haven’t yet lived into being, and a “Hanerot Hallalu” for this pandemic year), evocative poetry (on finding light without a chanukiyah, on kindling lights alone, on the windows where we light our lights and the Zoom windows where the pandemic allows us to gather, and much more), and meditations on Chanukah through all five senses, all accompanied by heart-opening artwork.

This collection was co-created by Trisha Arlin, R. Rachel Barenblat, R. Dara Lithwick, R. David Evan Markus, R. Sonja Keren Pilz, R. Jennifer Singer, Steve Silbert, and Devon Spier, and is intended for use by individuals and communities across and beyond the denominational spectrum. Read excerpts and download here: Great Miracles Happen Here.  And here’s a lovely review by Mark Frydenberg in eJP: Who Can Retell?


Ushpizin: Liturgy for Sukkot in Time of Covid

Sukkot this year will be unlike any other. Some of us won’t be able to safely build a sukkah; others will find in the sukkah the outdoor safety that indoor ventilation doesn’t provide. What does it mean to invite ancestors when we can’t invite guests in person? With what, or whom, (or Whom!) are we sitting when we dwell in our sukkot this year — whether our sukkot be literal or metaphorical? What structures can we build liturgically and spiritually to protect us in these vulnerable times? Four liturgists from within and beyond the denominations collaborated on this set of offerings from Bayit to accompany us through this year’s festival.

This collection is a collaboration between Trisha Arlin, R. Rachel Barenblat, R. David Evan Markus, and R. Sonja Keren Pilz, with sketchnotes by Steve Silbert.


Megillat Covid

Five offerings for Tisha b’Av 2020, each available as its own downloadable PDF. They are intended for both personal and communal use, and can be used singly or all together. Any of them could be read on their own, or as a prelude to Eicha / Lamentations.

The final poem has been set to Eicha trope, recorded by R. Jennifer Singer.

This collection is by Trisha Arlin, R. Rachel Barenblat, R. Evan J. Krame, R. Sonja Keren Pilz, and Devon Spier, with sketchnotes by Steve Silbert.