About seven years ago, through an initiative funded by Star Synaplex, I was introduced one Shabbat to an incredible musical ensemble who identified themselves as Shabbat Unplugged. Populated by a group of RRC students and educators, their mantra is to Experience Shabbat Like Never Before.
They have developed a “joyful, prayerful, song-filled, rocking, jumping, moving, grooving, spiritually-soothing, funky, folksy, fun Shabbat worship experience for young adults…”. Since then, as both a group, and individually, they have produced several successful albums while their original music has helped shape and influence Shabbat worship throughout the United States.
One of the original members of the group, Rabbi G. Rayzel Raphael (Philadelphia, Pa.) is known for bringing a rich background in spirituality and ritual, feminism, and music to Judaism. By the very nature that we are here today, on-line, we know the huge part technology plays in our lives. Some inspiring words to consider by Rabbi G. Rayzel Raphael,
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Oh, Great Goddess, Weaver of the Cosmic Web
As the internet becomes more prevalent in our lives, help me adapt to the changes it brings. Standing in awe of pictures and maps received on my screen from around the world, let me not forget to actually go outside. Guide me to discern which email is important, which to delete, and which furthers peace and harmony on the planet. Oh Angel of Patience, Help me clean up my typos and slow my fingers as I fire off a potentially hurtful message. When I stare at a full inbox, remind me what Rabbi Tarfon said in Tractate Avot of the Talmud : “it is not incumbent upon you to complete the task but neither are you free to desist from it.” Grant me the wisdom to know a computer cannot replace a real hug and of course,
Bless all those who read this.
Rabbi G. Rayzel Raphael
Singer, Songwriter, Ritual-Maker and Spirituality Consultant.