Looking for a different type of prayer? On select Tuesday and Wednesday evenings throughout the year, Temple Sholom’s Chapel hosts a dedicated group of adults from Connecticut and Westchester who are hoping to find calmness, stillness and relaxation through the practice of Jewish Meditation.
“It’s become a popular and interesting way to break up the week,” says Cantor Asa Fradkin, who has a background in Eastern spiritual practice and Jewish chant. “We take time to reflect on the values of community, our relationship with God and God’s presence in the world through short yet powerful prayers, guided meditation and singing.”
There are many benefits to Jewish Meditation, including creating a deeper connection to the Jewish tradition by addressing the values and belief systems expressed through prayer. Newcomers are invited to join the group at any time, which has only one requirement: a strong desire to quiet the mind and body.
“If you are coming to one of our sessions, you can expect to feel a lot more relaxed leaving than when you arrive. You will be sitting in an atmosphere of people who are introspective. Their goal is to find something deeper in their lives than just going about everyday business and mundane tasks,” explains Cantor Asa. “That’s one of the things that makes it appealing and attractive to people. You only need the experience of having stress and having things go wrong in your life, and be able to use this practice to deal with the noise of the world.”
This fall, Jewish Meditation will take place at Temple Sholom (300 E. Putnam Avenue) from 7:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on September 1 and 16, October 6 and 20, and November 3 and 18. A special High Holiday session will take place at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23 (Yom Kippur).
By Gina Pernicano