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Summer Prayer Intensive: Learning to Pray, Praying to Learn

Past Sessions
Thursday, August 6, 2020 16 Av 5780 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Zoom
Thursday, July 30, 2020 9 Av 5780 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Zoom
Thursday, July 23, 2020 2 Av 5780 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Zoom
Thursday, July 16, 2020 24 Tammuz 5780 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Zoom
Thursday, July 9, 2020 17 Tammuz 5780 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Zoom
Thursday, July 2, 2020 10 Tammuz 5780 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Zoom
Thursday, June 25, 2020 3 Tammuz 5780 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Zoom
Tuesday, June 23, 2020 1 Tammuz 5780 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM - Zoom

“For the soul, home is where prayers is” (R Nachman)

This series will begin on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz (Tuesday, June 25) and finish on the 14th of Av (Tuesday, August 4), the day before the Jewish “valentine’s day” – Tu b’Av – a time of rekindling of hope and love. This six-week time period is the darkest and most challenging of the Jewish calendar, and embedded within it are what are known as “the three weeks,” marking  the lead up to, and the destruction of, the Jerusalem Temple – twice! Usually, many of us pay little attention to this time of year from a Jewish ritual perspective, since it comes at the height of the summer when we are often off travelling and exploring outer, rather than inner, worlds. This year is different. Many of us will continue to mostly shelter at home, keep close to our neighborhoods, pray that by next year summer will feel more like “summer” again, with all the lightness and joy and fun that word implies.

As we navigate these challenging six weeks together, we will explore what resources we can find within our prayer book (the Siddur) to learn from, and move through, times of “darkness.” Ideally, prayer can help us to – in the words of Irish poet John O’Donohue – “Know that you are not alone, and that this darkness has purpose; gradually it will school your eyes to find the one gift your life requires hidden within this night-corner.” As we cultivate a more robust spiritual practice, and learn more about Jewish liturgy along the way, daily prayer can become a tool of encouragement to our own hearts, and can strengthen within us the will and the skill to reignite our inner God-spark, and find new ways to connect to the God-sparks all around us. At least that is my prayer for us, as we embark upon this learning together.

June 23: Beginnings – Taking the leap into prayer, or getting out of bed in the morning

June 25: Awakenings – Wrapping ourselves in fringes, or aligning ourselves with Divine energy

July 2: Jewish Gratitude Practices – “Prayer that begins with gratitude is just easier” (R Zalman)

July 9: Listening up, leaning in – the Sh’ma and guarding our mouths and doorposts

July 16: Crossing the Sea – Reliving redemptive moments and cultivating spiritual optimism

July 23: Standing face-to-face with God – finding our way into the Amida

July 30: Cherishing petitionary prayer – the Amida reconsidered

August 6: Forgiveness and Return – Letting go through prayer

While the classes build on one another, drop-ins are welcome.

For participants registering for the whole series at once, Rabbi Diane will gift two  ½ hour sessions  for one-on-one “prayer coaching” ( to take place between June 23 and August 4). 

*No Hebrew is required. Texts will be provided both in Hebrew and in English translations.


Rabbi Diane Tiferet Lakein moved to Boulder in 2019 from Europe, where she was the Rabbi of Chawurah Gescher (Freiburg, Germany) and Migwan (Basel, Switzerland). She is currently a freelance rabbi in Europe and the United States – with an emphasis on education and spiritual direction – and can be found online at  Rabbi Diane holds a Masters of Jewish Education from Hebrew College and received rabbinic ordination from ALEPH, the Alliance for Jewish Renewal. Earlier in her life she was a cultural anthropologist – and has lived extended periods of her life abroad, in Sweden, Thailand, China and Germany.

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Fri, July 1 2022 2 Tammuz 5782