Open Temple


By Rabbi Lori Shapiro

Ein Sof. Without End. All My Life’s a Circle.

Circles are 360 degrees – Double Chai for a minyan. And its circumference, while measurable, is also an endless roundabout caught in π. Circles are an endless fascination, and Torah, maintaining its analog appeal, “turns and turns,” like a wheel, “with everything inside.”

Literary Biblical scholar Avivah Zornberg in an interview with Krista Tippet reminds us of “one of the extraordinary, recursive references in the [Exodus] story. Over and over again, God says to Moses, Moses says to the people, ‘All this is happening so that you shall tell the story.’

It’s the Biblical Storytelling Circle Game.

“It’s so upside-down, you might say…” continues Zornberg, “Since it’s happened, all right, tell the story. Make sure people remember it. But that’s not the point. It’s not telling the story so as to remember what happened. It happened so as to be the stimulus for a meaningful story. And the stories will develop and change through time. And perhaps, in the end or along the way, you might find yourself telling a better story than what is actually written in the text. So long as there is some connection. So that what you have, for instance, on the Seder night, on Passover, is basically the commandment to tell the story of the Exodus, which doesn’t mean reading the Bible. It means — you know, it isn’t just opening up the Bible and reading.”

It’s at this point Rabbi Lori chimes in to the conversation between Krista Tippet and Avivah Zornberg (as if!): It’s about letting the story run through each of us. It’s about turning the story until all that is inside becomes revealed and refracted through our unique Neshamot (souls) finding their voice in the choir of voices that came before us and live through us today. It means being a part of our circular storytelling tradition…with one another.

Enter Open Temple Circles.

In the week of Parshat Yitro, Open Temple reveals emerging Circles of Practice within our community: Shabbat/Creativity Circle, Healing Arts Circle, What’s Next Circle (for Boomers) and a Poetry Circle. You are invited to explore the circles of practice and interest (below). Together, we will write the Torah running through us through healing, writing, exploring life’s meaning and rituals together as we Open our Temple.

With blessings of Light and Revelation,

Healing Arts Circle:

Tuesday, January 29th 7:30 pm

Boomer “What’s Next” Circle:
Tuesday, February 5th 6:00 pm

Poetry Arts Circle:
Wednesday, February 20th 7:00 pm

Shabbat/Creativity Circle:
Tuesday, February 26th 6:00pm

More info:

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