Or Haneshamah - Ottawa's Reconstructionist Community
Observe the High Holy Days at OrH
Or Haneshamah welcomes our members and non-members to its upcoming High Holy Day services. With the spiritual and musical leadership of Rabbi Liz Bolton, OrH offers an inviting, participatory, and meaningful way to enter the Jewish New Year. From Selichot through to Simchat Torah, our services will feed your soul and stimulate your intellect.
Register for Machaneh Shabbat
Shabbat Camp For All Ages!
Come see what you are missing! Hang out with your family in a social camp atmosphere every Shabbat morning and meet everyone's Jewish needs at the same time! A unique and meaningful Jewish education experience!
Machaneh Shabbat runs Saturday mornings from 9:45 am to 12:45 pm, September to June, for school-age children and families with younger children. Enrolment is ongoing.
From the Rabbi - Words of the Spirit
The Season of Teshuvah
13/09/16 07:17:59 PM
The season of teshuvah offers an opportunity to look back, look at ourselves, and look to the future, intently and intensely. It is also a time of celebration of community and continuity, and of tradition coupled with innovation.
There are many of us who spend our days thinking, in one way or another, about these interrelated issues of community, continuity, tradition and innovation. Parents, teachers, health care professionals, politicians, activists, volunteers … you can probably add to this list. We all share concerns about sustaining our enterprise in its particularities; about how things were done in the past; about who can join in (accessibility in all of its manifestations); and about how to refresh and renew.
Doing this Jewish-ly, as Reconstructionists, in Canada is still an exciting adventure, yet as we move through the month of Elul in anticipation of the holidays of Tishrey, we collectively carry with us the customs of centuries. These come in cherished personal as well as public forms, from making a brisket according to a grandmother’s recipe and sharing a table beautifully set with family dishes, to hearing a Kol Nidre in a certain timbre.
There’s a little tale of a shaliach tzibbur, the prayer leader of the community, who comes to the rebbe in a state of panic, saying that he has not had enough time to look into the prayers in preparation for the looming holy day services. The rebbe replied: look not into the pages of the prayer book, but rather into your own soul, thus you shall be fully prepared.
Even as rabbis, cantors and service leaders are preparing the pages, the melodies, the ritual choreography, and our own holiday dinners, we too - like all who attend synagogue on the High Holy Days – need to pay attention to the essence of these days. If we only concern ourselves with the ways in which we preserve and innovate the tradition, even as we work hard to sustain our beloved communities, we too – I too – will be missing the mark.
We must all allow ourselves to luxuriate in the time to consider our purpose and the world around us. As we do so, we will surely be refreshed and renewed for a good sweet year.
At each ORH service over the Jewish months of Elul and Tishrey, there will be a basket of notebooks with a thoughtful guide with questions for reflection. Take a guide home, let it stimulate your preparations. Our Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Group is also offering two Unbook Club gatherings featuring Rabbi Alan Lew’s This Is Real &You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation.