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THE SPIRITUAL PRACTICE OF THIS COMMUNITY
We intend to foster as many spontaneous acts of love and caring as possible and do what we can to embody our highest ideals. We hope members will take some time each day to center themselves and check in with the universe, with God, with their own deepest selves, and with the Jewish tradition.
We seek to develop in ourselves:
Gmilut Chesed--acts of loving-kindness.
Tzedakah--letting go of the need for possessions and power as a statement of worth as well as giving, not for the sake of recognition but because "giving, to give, not to get" is the best way to live.
Kindness to Animals--our community has chosen to have vegetarian only events.
Care of people in need--not just Jews, but everyone.
Shalom Bayit--to make peace in our relationships and in the world.
Internal Awareness--of one's own processes, of others' needs, and of one's own place in the universe, developed though meditation and self-reflection.
Recognizing God in every human being--and acting on that knowledge.
Joyfulness--a life in which we can playfully and happily affirm ourselves, each other, and the universe.
Openness to Pleasure--allowing ourselves to experience the joy of physical, spiritual, ethical and intellectual pleasure.
LASHON HA'RA-HURTFUL SPEECH ABOUT OTHERS One of the most destructive features of contemporary life is the way people put each other down. One of the goals of BEYT TIKKUN will be to build mutual support for each other, and to resist the tendency of people to spread negative thoughts or feelings about others or about themselves.
EDUCATION Our approach to educating is that our children reflect the spiritual goals of the community. What is most important in a Jewish Renewal education program is to teach our children central Jewish Renewal values.
Awe and wonder at the grandeur of creation. Bring children to physical settings where they can experience awe and wonder. There is so much goodness in the world. Learning to see all the goodness that exists, both from nature and from human beings, is an important component in learning to "give thanks"-Tov le'hodot (it is good to give thanks).
Generosity and hopefulness. There is enough and you are enough. Still, things can be made better. There is no scarcity in the world, only a scarcity in the way natural and human resources are shared.
Love and caring. We recognize each other as embodiments of the sacred, as living miracles and as beings that deserve to be cared for and loved. In our religious school, caring about others is one of the highest values. The education of caring is the focus of much activity.
Commitment to the Jewish people and to humanity. The Jewish people have played a powerful role in bringing to the world a set of extraordinary teachings. We want to teach our children about the history of the Jewish people and develop within them a sense of identity that includes being part of the Jewish people. The ecological survival of the planet, the creation of social justice, and the flourishing of love and hope in all corners of this planet are central Jewish values.
A sense of community: being a "We" and not just an "I". We want to create a new reality, one in which each student is recognized for her or his uniqueness and, at the same time is also taught that there is a "we" here, a community of Beyt Tikkun we are proud to be a part of, and to which we have obligations. Creating a sense of being part of an ongoing community of people who have cared for each other for the past three thousand years can give children a feeling of security and strength.
Coming to know YHVH and ourselves in relationship to YHVH. Yud Hey Vav Hey, the four letters that stand for the Force of Healing and Transformation in the Universe are often translated as "God." It is fundamental to a Jewish religious education to teach the history of how the Jewish people have understood YHVH. At the same time, we must encourage students to develop their own relationship with YHVH through prayer, meditation, dance, song, celebration, contemplation, philosophical discourse, and individual intuition.
Developing an inner spiritual life. We want our children to know how to quiet all the inner voices of ego and anxiety so that they can hear the voice of YHVH inside themselves. Learning to connect with their own inner lives and inner experience is as important as learning the prayers and the rituals.
Learning the prayers, rituals and mitzvot of Jewish life. We want our children to feel comfortable participating in Jewish life. We want to teach them the Jewish paths in prayer, rituals and mitzvot. Those mitzvot should include Shabbat, holidays and prayer, synagogue skills (like learning to read Hebrew and Torah) and also visiting the sick, comforting the bereaved, feeding the hungry, doing acts of unpremeditated loving-kindness, charity, and social justice.
Learning Torah and the Torah tradition. Studying Torah and commentaries with all the subsequent elaboration of Torah through Talmud and Rabbinic response, plus commentaries from both the authoritative Hallachic tradition and the mystical Kabbalistic and Hasidic tradition, are some of the great intellectual joys which our people have to offer to our children.
Tikkun Olam. Judaism is about healing and transforming the planet. An important component of our religious education is to provide ways for our children to become involved in tikkun olam activities. Our approach to tikkun olam is shaped by the commitment to a politics of meaning. Part of tikkun olam is to reclaim the spiritual dimension of life and to build a world of love and emotional/intellectual/cultural aliveness. Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, a famous Hasidic master, taught: " Serve God with Joy." That joy must be an important ingredient in what we communicate to our children.
Joyfulness. Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav, a famous Hasidic master, taught: "Serve God with Joy." That joy must be an important ingredient in what we communicate to our children.
Parents and home are key to religious education. Nothing important is likely to happen to our children at Beyt Tikkun's religious school unless a religious life is being led at home and is reflected in the lives of parents. It is an illusion to believe that you can send children to learn something important about values or God while the children are not finding those values or that connection to God reflected in the lives of their parents.
For more detailed information about Beyt Tikkun, please read our Founding Perspective.