Open My Heart

Living Jewish Prayer: A Podcast from IJS

Welcome to Open My Heart: Living Jewish Prayer. Each Monday and Friday, a different teacher will offer a new short prayer-practice, inviting you to join them. From one episode to the next, the practice, and the voices will be different. No one presenter, and no one prayer, will necessarily work for everyone. But our hope (and expectation) is that over time, joining in these prayers will lead you to find your own authentic and meaningful prayer practice and open your heart to prayer.

Listen to our most recent episode below, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Meet your host, Rabbi Jonathan Slater, Senior Program Director. Rabbi Slater has worked with IJS since 2002, having participated in the first rabbinic cohort. He is a co-director of the Clergy Leadership Program, and serves in multiple programs throughout the organization. Rabbi Slater was ordained by JTS and served congregations in northern California for over twenty years.

Meet your host, Rabbi Jonathan Slater, Senior Program Director. Rabbi Slater has worked with IJS since 2002, having participated in the first rabbinic cohort. He is a co-director of the Clergy Leadership Program, and serves in multiple programs throughout the organization. Rabbi Slater was ordained by JTS and served congregations in northern California for over twenty years.

Spiritual Journaling as Spiritual Listening

Episode 32: Spiritual Journaling as Spiritual Listening

Alden Solovy spoke movingly about how poetry and prayer emerged in his life, and have sustained and nurtured him through very difficult circumstances. Now, he shares a key element of his morning prayer practice: sacred journaling. Listening deeply to his own heart, he touches on Awarnesses, Gratitudes, and Intentions to ground his life, and prepare him to pray from the heart.

Read the episode transcript

Alden Solovy: “This Precious Life”

Episode 31: Alden Solovy: "This Precious Life" We begin a series of three interviews with authors in the field of prayer. The first is with Alden Solovy, who writes at tobendlight.com, and who has recently published "This Precious Life: Encountering the Divine with...

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Praying to the Beloved

Episode 30: Praying to the Beloved Contemplative practice -- for instance, meditation -- can settle the body and mind and help us to sense the deep Oneness of all beings. But, it can also be lonely. We human beings also need connection and relationship. Rabbi Lavey...

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“Middot and Meniyot” -or- “Musar My Way”

Episode 29: "Middot and Meniyot" -or- "Musar My Way" We often think of prayer as a practice of reaching out, of shifting our attention toward God "out there". But, it can also be a matter of turning inward, connecting to the divine -- and divine qualities -- in our...

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“God Lifts All Who Fall”

Episode 28: "God Lifts All Who Fall" Rabbi Jacob Staub recalls a teaching of his "rebbe" Sylvia Boorstein: whatever is happening, however you feel, whatever you know to be true, no matter how frightening, no matter how painful, no matter how difficut -- "Don't Duck!"...

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Why Worry When You Can Pray

Episode 27: Why Worry When You Can PrayWhen COVID-19 hit, rather than limiting religious life, Hazzan Harold Messinger (and his colleague Rabbi David Ackerman) of Beth Am Israel, created a new Zoom-minyan. Rather than bemoan not singing together, he used music on his...

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Morning Walking Practice

Episode 26: Morning Walking Practice There are many ways to pray, but fundamental to them all is opening awareness to that which is Beyond, to the All, to God. Cantor Josh Breitzer, in this time of pandemic, has turned his walking-commute into a walking-practice,...

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