9 thoughts on “Moishe House Birkat HaChamah

  1. So from what I’ve been reading about different liberally religious groups’ Birkat Hachamah gatherings, it’s pretty much miSinai that you have to do a Sun Salutation yoga thing. I’m so glad I stayed in and did Birkat Hachamah alone.

  2. yeah, the Hasidim in Borough Park didn’t do a sun salutation. if i had seen that at the lincoln memorial, i would have assumed they were falun gong.

  3. Comrade D.A.M.W., don’t get your tsitsis in a bunch. It’s just some stretching to get the blood flowing. It was around 39 degrees out there and it was 6:20 am.
    The Wash.Post video unfortunately cut out the more meaningful parts of the ceremony (for me at least)… the dvar Torah, the reading of Tehillim chapter 19, and the messages we wrote for a time capsule to be opened at the next Birkat ha-Chammah. Then after the Blessing itself, we sang “Morning has broken” and “El Adon”.

  4. If you look carefully at the guy who’s not doing the stretching, you can see him mouthing “this is lame”.
    I think they forgot to turn off the prayer leader’s mic when they were singing El Adon.

  5. DAMW, not all of the “liberally religious” folks included yoga in their Birkas HaChamah experiences. The Hebrew College/Newton Centre Minyan didn’t.
    That said, I wouldn’t have been opposed to doing something to warm up and wake up while standing out in the pre-sunrise cold.

  6. So I’ve been hesitating to respond because it’s hag and perhaps anything posted on hag is to be written off as well, but whatever–I use the internet on hag and I’m here and this really makes me mad, so I’m going to respond so I don’t have to let it stew anymore.
    As noted, it wasn’t actually sun salutations. As also noted, not everyone there was into the stretching. (B just happened to be front and center, but there were others who didn’t do it.) Just as not everyone there was into the full-liturgy shacharit that followed the blessing. This was a community observance and people came out to be with their community members on this “once-in-a-generation” occasion. We were able to think about our hopes and visions for the next 28 years, whether or not we put cards in the time capsule, and how we might, as a community make those hopes and visions clear.
    It was a really beautiful program that included all kinds of ways for the people who were there to connect to the occasion, since our community includes people who connect in a wide variety of ways. The organizers (who happen to be my friends, but I think I’d have this reaction anyway, as someone who has organized many events) put a lot of effort into making something that our community members would find meaningful, even if every piece didn’t work for everybody.
    So it upsets me when the first reaction is “oh, I’m so glad I stayed home and didn’t have to deal with those dopey sun salutations.” Ok, whatever. Your decision. Why do you feel the need to put down an observance into which people put a lot of careful thought into crafting and which others found attractive enough (whether for the content or for the experience of marking the sun-cycle in community) to warrant getting to the Lincoln Memorial at 6:20 in the morning?
    I realize I am likely overreacting, which is why I didn’t respond before it was hag. But as KFJ expressed in the half-Jew/full-Jew post, it just makes me angry when people have this need to devalue others’ observances. And especially so when people put special effort into making something happen for the community (on erev Pesach of all times! I can’t imagine where they found the energy!)

  7. “So to everyone out there trying to make a difference in your communities, fuck you, you stupid asses!” –Jon Stewart, paraphrasing the 2008 Republican National Convention

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