AND THERE WAS LIGHT! EXPLORING LIGHT IN JEWISH SOURCES AND PRAYER.  What does light mean to your Jewish soul? Hanukkah is the Festival of Lights, and in this glowing slide discussion Debra Band relates the different symbolic meanings of light in Jewish text and liturgy, from the beginning of creation, to the harsh glare from which God protects us, to a symbol of God and joy, light as a symbol of joy in Havdalah, and a symbol of God in the Psalms and the divine suffusion of Creation in the Kabbalat Shabbat liturgy. The discussion, which encourages students to explore their own spiritual associations with light, draws extensively on artwork and scholarship from I Will Wake the Dawn: Illuminated Psalms and Kabbalat Shabbat: the Grand Unification. 20% discount on orders of 20+ copies of Kabbalat Shabbat: the Grand Unification available upon scheduling class. Available in person or by video-conference.

SHABBAT SHIRAH: ILLUMINATING THE SHABBAT OF SONG. Shabbat Shirah, when we chant both the stories and heroic songs of early Israel’s two great water miracles at the Red Sea and Nachal Kishon, offers a moment for us to imagine and re-live the triumph and relief of God’s rescue of the nascent nation of Israel. In this lively slide-discussion, supporting Jewish historical memory and trust in God, Debra Band tells the stories of the Crossing of the Red Sea and Deborah’s leadership of the tribes of Israel through her own and other artwork, including her illuminations of the Deborah story from Arise! Arise! Deborah, Ruth and Hannah.  The slide discussion may be followed by a writing workshop, in which participants have the opportunity to write and workshop poetry or prose about some moment when they—either as individuals or as members of Jewish community—have felt rescued or particularly sustained by God.  Bar/Bat Mitzvah age through adult. Available in-person or by video-conference.

LOVING NATURE ON TU B’SHVAT. Tu b’Shvat, the Birthday of the Trees, offers an opportunity to engage in conversation with the Creator of nature.  In the delightful medieval text, Perek Shira, Chapter of Song, trees, beetles, birds, stars and all kinds of natural wonders exclaim praises of God drawn from across classical Jewish texts.  In this class Debra Band helps participants engage in their spiritual conversation with God through their love of nature and Jewish environmental ethics, explored through her 2018 adaptation of Perek Shira, All the World Praises You! an illuminated aleph-bet book.  Students are encouraged to imagine other ways of perceiving and expressing gratitude to God in the natural world during the presentation. In person or via video-conference.  Recommended accompaniment, hands-on art workshop,  Your Spirit in Lights Workshop (adult or junior), focusing on the students’ own vision of God in nature. 20% discount on orders of 20+ copies of Arise! Arise! Deborah, Ruth and Hannah, available upon scheduling class.

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