Elat Chayyim Launches Jewish Retreat Center dot org

The only Jewish Retreat Center in North America has had a digital make-over. The easy-to-forget and impossible to spell ElatChayyim.org now lives at JewishRetreatCenter.org.
EC is probably the only place you can practice authentic Jewish meditation, train for Yoga certification, or become a Jewish shamanic healer.
Drawing from across the denominational divides, teachers include Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Mindy Ribner, Mordechai Gafni, and DovBer Pinson.
They’ve also recently launched new community initiatives such as the Ecological Apprenticeship Program and the Neshamah Fellowship in Jewish Spiritual Community, a nine-month residential training program.

8 thoughts on “Elat Chayyim Launches Jewish Retreat Center dot org

  1. What’s the official Jewish position on Yoga per Halacha? I’m frum and I just started practicing it, except the whole concept of the sun salutation among some other practices weird me out on some level because I know it has non-jewish religious undertones.

  2. With yoga, there are definitely differing opinions. Some see yoga as it is often practiced as divorced from its non-Jewish spiritual background. Others see it as too linked to non-Jewish religious ritual. I would recommend a rule of thumb (for those who are traditional and hence care what the halakha has to say): if such stuff (“sun salutation”) is referred to in class in religious/spiritual terms, its probably not a halakhically acceptable environment.
    I don’t suppose I need to point out that “Jewish shamanic healing” is not kosher, halakhically. Avodah Zarah performed by a rabbi is still Avodah Zarah. Think I’m just being annoying, judgemental, and strict? Fine. It’s certainly your prerogative. But:
    “Rituals include prayers and incantations that call upon forces active in the spirit realms, various plants, incense smoke, the ram’s horn, planetary influences, and stones.”

  3. it’s a good question: If someone is praying to the one and only God, but using different words than you, is it called avoda zarah?
    We salute the every shabbos in shachis, koach oo gvurah natan bahaem, and even acknowledge that power is given unto the sun to rule… So that kind thing itself wouldn’t be the problem, if there was one.
    what’s being done in Yoga? The word itself literally means “unification”, restoration to one-ness… is that ever called Avodah Zarah?

  4. There is a mesorah that the chasidim rishonim used to do alot of physical movements during davening, some of which were institutionalized… does the pattern of bowing at the beginning and end of shmonah esrai not remind you of the sun salute?
    I’ve heard people argue that the animal positions might be a problem, because they might be drawing power from certain assur animal deities… But the gemara that describes how to bow during shmonah esrai uses Animal symbolism to describe the machloket on how to bow, describing sliding up like a serpent and so on.
    Avodah Zarah might have to depend on intention.

  5. in brachos, i think… heven’t seen it inside since eighth grade, sadly enough… In the plae where it’s talking about shmonah esrai in general…

  6. 3 steps after the Amidah: Yuma 53b
    Where one’s eyes should face, if praying in Israel: Yevamot 105b
    Where one’s heart should “face”, when praying in Israel: Yevamot 105
    Standing with legs facing the same way: Berachot 10b
    Legs together: Rashi Berachot 10b “VeRagleihem”
    Order of Bowing: Berachot 12a
    Method of Bowing: Berachot 12b, Tos. Berachot 12b #1
    Spinal damage for not bowing for “Modim” for 7 years: Bava Kamma 16a
    Source: http://www.aishdas.org/webshas

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