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Sap Rising: Tu BiShvat 5782

New from Bayit’s Liturgical Arts Working Group comes this offering for Tu BiShvat 5782, available both as a printable PDF and as illuminated google slides suitable for screensharing. Here are four new variations on Tu BiShvat’s traditional four cups of wine or juice; prayers and meditations on Tu BiShvat in this time of climate crisis; an updated variation on Reb Nachman’s “Grant me the ability to be alone” prayer for our Zoom / pandemic moment; and more.

Featuring work by Trisha Arlin, R. Rachel Barenblat, R. Dara Lithwick, Joanne Fink, R. David Evan Markus, and R. David Zaslow.

Download the PDF:

Sap Rising – Tu BiShvat 5782 from Bayit[pdf]

Preview the illuminated google slides:

The slides are also here on google drive:

Sap Rising – Tu BiShvat 5782 from Bayit

 

Here’s a taste of what’s inside:

In an era when we cannot easily congregate,
may we discover new ways to connect
with our communities, our friends and family,
and with our own hearts…

— “Four Cups: Awareness, Connection, Gratitude, and Hope,” Joanne Fink

רִבּוֹנוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם זַכֵּנוּ לְהִתְאוֹשֶׁשׁ בְּהִתְבּוֹדְדוּת,‏
יַחַד מוֹשִׁיטִים יָדָיִם מֵהַרִיק שֶׁל הַנִּפְרָדוּת,
מִתְחַבְּרִים בְּאֶמְצָעוּת זוּם כְּדֵי לְהִתְקַשֵּׁר בֵּין לֵב לַלֵּב.

Master of the Universe, may we merit resilience in solitude,
Together reaching out from the empty void of separateness,
Connecting by zoom, linking heart to heart…

— from ‘A Prayer for Renewing Connections,” R. David Evan Markus

We begin the seder by donning an extra hat, an extra scarf, and a mask. These additional outer garments symbolize apartness and disconnection. We remove our masks, bless grape juice or wine, and drink from the first cup…

— from “Four Cups, Four Worlds,” R. Rachel Barenblat

Of every Torah we say,
“She is a tree of life.”
There are some who say
“Every tree is a Torah too”
meant to be read…

— from “Tree of Life,” R. David Zaslow

First Cup – Live Small
You have to be rich to live small.
It ain’t cheap to shop local,
Do the poor eat organic?
But bravo to those of us who can manage it
And no shame to those of us who cannot.

— from “Four Cups, Four Ways to Action,” Trisha Arlin

We used to seek out tree fruits from afar:
pomegranate arils plentiful as mitzvot,
carob a reminder to plant for generations,
figs evoking Torah, juicy and sweet…

— from “Where We Are,” R. Rachel Barenblat

Assiyah: The first cup is that of Assiyah, the world of being and action, earth and body. Here we need protection, a hard shell. I stare out to the winter wonderland surrounding me. Spruce trees abound, the most common tree here in Canada. Sharp needles – protective, not too friendly at first – can hurt, but make a healing tea…

— from “Four Cups, Four Species, Four Worlds, Right in Front of Me,” R. Dara Lithwick

Our home shul in Brooklyn meets in a church.
We don’t have a yard or a roof or air conditioning
So for many years during the summer we have met in Prospect Park
Under two large trees that overlook the ball fields…

— from “Our Tallis Trees,” Trisha Arlin

The sap is rising, even if we can’t see it.
Is our hope rising? What if we can’t feel it? …

— from “Rising,” written by the ensemble

 

And if this speaks to you, you also might find meaning in our new book

From Narrow Places: Liturgy, Poetry and Art of the Pandemic Era, available now for $18.

 

 

        

This collection features work by Trisha Arlin, R. Rachel Barenblat, R. Dara Lithwick, Joanne Fink, R. David Evan Markus, and R. David Zaslow. Find all of our bios on the Builder Biographies page.

Rolling Darkness Into Light – Chanukah 5782

New from Bayit’s Liturgical Arts Working Group comes this offering for Chanukah 5782. The pandemic has become endemic, and our planet is imperiled. Chanukah comes not to distract us from these realities, but to offer a path through them. Chanukah is about what fuels us even when we feel empty (or maybe especially then). Our liturgy speaks of God Who rolls light out of darkness and darkness out of light. May these prayers, poems, and artworks sustain us as we find the holiness both in today’s darkness and in our turn toward increasing light.

Available both as a printable PDF and as illuminated google slides suitable for screensharing.

Featuring work by Trisha Arlin, R. Rachel Barenblat, R. Dara Lithwick, Joanne Fink, R. David Evan Markus, R. Sonja K. Pilz PhD, and R. David Zaslow.

Download the PDF:

Bayit-Chanukah 5782 [pdf]

Access the illuminated google slides:

Rolling Darkness into Light Slides [google slides]

Here’s a taste of what’s inside:

 

Shammai taught: the miracle was that the oil lasted
though it dwindled daily. In remembrance
(he said) kindle 8 lights to start, and
remove one each night, ending
with one brave flame
flickering alone
against
dark…

— “Increasing,” R. Rachel Barenblat

Light candles, as one does, but consider this:

Over many millions of years
Organisms evolved
To thrive in the dark…

— “In Praise of the Dark,” Trisha Arlin

Darkness, mother to light,
surrounds, embraces,
nurses the light –
holds each image
in her arms;
lets him be seen…

— “Mother to Light,” R. David Zaslow

A great miracle happened here?
Well, I am not inclined this year
To celebrate divine intervention…

— “Great,” Trisha Arlin

…Just as holy servants of old
whose audacity rededicated their world defiled,
for all eight days
of Hanukkah
may these candles
inspire purification…

— “Lighting Our Way: A New Al Ha-Nisim for a New World,” R. David Markus

A candle is not diminished when it lights
another flame. Hope is not diminished when
it leaps from heart to heart like wildfire…

— “Not Diminished,” R. Rachel Barenblat

I have seen many candles burn,
And many flames gone dark.
Even within each single flame, there is a dark line,
A black, reddish glowing
Reminding me that the brightest flames
Feed off of some sort of darkness…

— “Meditation After Candle Lighting: Setting Our Soul (n’shamah) and Spirit (ru’ach) on Fire,” R. Sonja Keren Pilz PhD

Eight nights of thirty six lights,
As the wind howls through naked trees, bereft of leaves (waiting for the cover glow of snow),
If we’re lucky, the stars glitter and flicker above
An invitation to balance, above and below…

— “On Sparks and Stars, Candles and Connection,” R. Dara Lithwick

The light of you
from a far star years away.
I swear it’s now
but know it was
a light from long ago…

— “The Light of You,” R. David Zaslow

 

And here is a preview of the slide deck:

 

 

Download the PDF:

Bayit-Chanukah 5782 [pdf]

Access the illuminated google slides:

Rolling Darkness into Light Slides [google slides]

 

       

This collection features work by Trisha Arlin, R. Rachel Barenblat, R. Dara Lithwick, Joanne Fink, R. David Evan Markus, R. Sonja K. Pilz PhD, and R. David Zaslow. Find all of our bios on the Builder Biographies page.