Culture, Mishegas, Religion

YouTube Shacharit

Boker tov, everyone! I am spending the weekend at NERUSY Encampment, with upwards of 150 Jewish teenagers at Camp Ramah of New England in scenic Palmer, MA. I have made it to at least a piece of Encampment nearly every year since 1992 (save a couple of years when I lived on the west coast), and despite my general drift away from Conservative Judaism, I still feel like New England Region United Synagogue Youth is an important spiritual home for me.
One of my favorite aspects of Encampment is tefillot – prayer. These kids are together for a full week, davening three times a day, so there’s a lot of opportunity for learning and connecting to prayer. Because most other USY conventions take place over Shabbat, our week at camp is one of only a few opportunities to explore prayer in fun ways that might not be appropriate for Shabbat. With this in mind, I volunteered to offer “YouTube Shacharit” this morning, inspired by this poist.
The YouTube videos on the other side of the cut here don’t replace the service, they augment it. Think of them as teaching tools or kavvanot, intentions to help us focus our minds on the prayers at hand. Or as just fun ways to take a different look at some familiar prayers.
Here are the five I’m using. Feel free to post links to your favorite YouTube videos for these and other prayers in the comments box below!
Modeh Ani:

Psalm 150 (Youtube won’t let me embed this one. 🙁 But trust me, you’ve got to click on this one. You won’t want to miss the gospel MCs in whiteface. I couldn’t make that up if I tried. Hat tip to TheWanderingJew for finding this one.)
Our old favorite:

Mi Kamocha, from Uganda:

Aleinu (thanks to The Radical Cleric):

3 thoughts on “YouTube Shacharit

  1. This is great! I’ve also been experimenting with other ways of using media in tefillah. I’m working on something I call “visual tefillah” and I have a few examples up at YouTube:
    These I developed at a summer camp, both for and with campers:
    This I developed for my minyan:
    I’d love to hear thoughts/comments!

  2. These are fabulous! Speaking as a Diaspora Texan, I confess to a certain fondness for the Texan modah ani (though it’s certainly not something I ever encountered growing up there) — and the Ugandan Mi Camocha is probably the track I’m likeliest to listen to just for the fun of it. The v’haer eyneynu is mildly alarming but also kind of awesome in its own way. Thanks for posting these!

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