In the TANAKH (Hebrew Scriptures) we read, “…for I, the Lord, am your healer.” (Ex. 15:26b) “But I will bring healing to you, and cure you or your wounds.” (Jer. 30:17a) More and more the medical and scientific community has acknowledged the healing power of prayer and spirituality.
Since the early 1990s, the Jewish community has been developing innovative liturgies and finding ways of opening up traditional prayer services so that the needs of Jews who are ill and those who care for them are more openly and effectively addressed. In some communities, these services are free-standing — e.g., a creative
healing service on a regular night of the month — and elsewhere, the existing, set prayer is "expanded" or "deepened" by integrating special melodies, readings, focused meditations, and the like. In still other settings, they have taken the form of Psalm Fellowships, groups of Jews who gather regularly to read or chant the biblical Book of Psalms, which are further developed into supportive networks for prayer, discussion and community.
Back in 1998 when we established the Caring Corps at Kehillat Chaim to be in touch with families suffering a death or illness, we also began to experiment with some healing services. The services were held for several years but for various reasons were discontinued.
With the increase in spirituality evidenced by the response to opportunities such as Ayeka, we are desirous of reintroducing Healing Services to the Kehillah. We will experiment with several different times and formats over the next few months to see which best fits our congregation before we settle on one.
Our first Healing Service will be Friday evening, December 16 at 7:00pm in the Chapel. It will be a brief (20+ minute) worship experience for those who are ill, recovering or are caregivers. Through prayer, meditation, song and other rituals, we will look to answer previously unmet need for spiritual renewal and community.
As with all but the Holyday services, no RSVP is necessary. If you feel the need, please drop in.
Donnie, Iyal and Morasha join me in wishing you a Happy Chanukah.