Teshuvah is the process of turning toward a recognition of our estrangement from ourselves, from others, and from God or from whatever or Whoever we consider our source of spiritual grounding and nourishment. We observe ten days of teshuvah, beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur, when as the late Rabbi Alan Lew remarked, “we acknowledge the darkness, when we let our guard down, and when we turn toward the truth.”
In this workshop, we will discuss our feelings about teshuvah, look at excerpts from our holy books, read “teshuvah poems” by writers like Moses Ibn Ezra and Mary Oliver, and then write our own poetry in a safe, noncritical environment. Seasoned poets as well as beginners are welcome. Although a fair amount of information will be presented, my approach is to facilitate and guide, not to lecture.
My hope is that we emerge from the workshop with a deeper understanding of our own teshuvah process, paving the way for a deeper experience of Yom Kippur.
Please sign up for the workshop in advance so there will be enough materials for everyone. To ask questions, contact Henry Rasof directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please bring your own writing materials–pens, pencils and erasers, paper, journals, and art materials if you wish to include color or illustrations in your poems, á la Kenneth Patchen or Sister Coretta Kent, famous for their picture poems.
Cost: Free, but please register.
Date: Sunday, October 9, 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Location: Congregation Nevei Kodesh, 1925 Glenwood Drive, Boulder, CO 80304
About the facilitator: Henry Rasof has a BA in music, an MFA in creative writing, and an MA in Jewish studies and has been writing poetry since 1964. He has published in print, online, and audio literary magazines and recently published a collection of liturgical poems: Here I Seek You: Jewish Poems for Shabbat, Holy Days, and Everydays. His two Web sites are www.medievalhebrewpoetry.org and www.henryrasof.com. He has taught at the University of Denver and Boulder Jewish Day School and has facilitated occasional workshops on ethical wills, liturgical poetry, and Jewish incantation bowls.