Some people wake up every morning with a cup of coffee and The New York Times. Some people put their children to bed each night with a story, a song and a special good night kiss. Some families watch football after every Thanksgiving meal. Some friends gather weekly to play poker or talk about books. All of these are rituals—they organize life and give it predictability. They connect us to each other and bring fullness to our lives.
Some people light candles every Friday night. Some say a prayer before eating. Some families welcome babies with ancient ceremonies and new blessings. Some friends gather to celebrate Jewish holidays. These, too, are rituals. They connect us with Jewish time and the Jewish people; they lift us from the ordinary to the sacred; they bring meaning and order to our lives.
Ritual helps us pay attention. From the joy of a recovery to the grief of a funeral, ritual helps us inhabit the breadth of human experience. When we engage in ritual, we leave the everyday and enter a space that touches and transforms us in profound and important ways.
A couple emerges from their wedding canopy changed because ritual has shifted their status in the world. A community joins together to comfort mourners: People bring food, recite prayers, listen while the mourners talk of their loss, and make sure that all practical details are handled. These rituals bring healing to the bereaved, but they do something for the caregivers as well. When a community celebrates or grieves together, it gains strength as its members grow more tightly connected to each other.
We at Ritualwell believe strongly in the power of ritual. We trust that carefully chosen words and actions can transform people and shape our experiences of the world. We appreciate the power of traditional Jewish ritual, while also being committed to innovation. Contemporary life is rich in moments for which we have no traditional ritual or prayer. But we are certain that you can help us find ways to make the tradition speak—or sing—even in circumstances that our ancestors couldn’t have imagined.
We are delighted to work with you to craft and share Jewish rituals for the seasons of the year and the cycles of our lives.