Creating My Own Ritual

Creating My Own Ritual

* This article originally appeared in Tablet

As a professor of Jewish studies, I encourage my students to use Jewish ritual in creative ways. In Introduction to Judaism at the University of Southern California, my students create a ritual marking a nontraditional event, like adopting a pet or graduating from high school. In Applied Jewish Wisdom at HUC-JIR’s Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management, my students learn about Jewish holidays, life cycle events, and texts not only for the sake of knowledge but to apply them creatively in Jewish organizational life. They compile an applied Jewish wisdom toolkit with ideas like a sukkah-construction team-building activity, expressing gratitude at the beginning of each week in “Modeh Ani Mondays,” and a mikvah-inspired swimming pool plunge marking the separation of sessions at a summer camp.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer this spring, I turned to the same creative thinking I had taught my students. How could I apply Jewish tradition to give me strength for the bumpy road of chemotherapy?

Read the full article by Sarah Bunin Benor in Tablet, here.

Read Sarah’s full ceremony on Ritualwell.