Flame & Fringe: Creative Practice for the High Holy Days

Flame & Fringe: Creative Practice for the High Holy Days

Preparing for the High Holy Days during the month of Elul is a way to ease us into a potent moment in Jewish time when we are asked to reflect, re-turn towards ourselves, wrestle with the gift of life, the grief of loss, and make teshuvah. Our tradition provides us with technologies to steady and ready ourselves to meet this moment with groundedness and an open heart, ready to be broken. Step into two of these creative practices in community with us this Elul. 

On Sunday September 3rd // 17 Elul  from 11am-4pm, Ollie and Aravah are excited to offer a day of queer creative practice, no prior training required! Join us in the morning to sew your own gender-affirming tallit katan to wear as an intimate companion throughout the Days of Awe. This garment can enhance your practice and remind you that those of us on the fringes are sacred. In the afternoon, dip your own soul candles to be lit in your home or place of prayer on Yom Kippur. These candles hold our collective grief, and can support you on the day of the year when the veil between heaven and earth is paper thin. 

Ritual Adornment Workshop: This workshop invites participants to connect to the mitzvah of tzitzit through the act of creating a personalized tallit katan (aka tzitzit). While this mitzvah is predominantly observed by men, we will focus this practice to those on the fringes, creating a custom garment that represents a unique vision for ourselves nestled within our long-standing traditions.

Participants are required to bring their own garment to transform into a tallit katan. We will be altering our garments, tying tzitzit and completing one corner by the end of our time together. A portion of the workshop will be spent on the history of the tallit katan, evolution of practice, and grounding in Torah. Tzitzit tying will be offered in the Ashkenazi and Sephardi customs. Fees cover all materials, including a set of hand-spun tzitzit by Ghost Rosen.

Soul Candle Ritual Workshop: During this workshop we will participate in the ancient work of soul candle creation. Let us revive ancient grief practices long forgotten. Let us pick up the cotton braided wick once carried by our transcestors and those on the fringes. Let us continue the sacred work of tending the edges, and being with the immensity of loss. 

Together we will learn about soul candles and tkhines, two Jewish traditions which have been lost to time under assimilation/white supremacy and patriarchy. We will practice “measuring the wick,” a collective grief practice to prepare the wick for dipping in wax. We will then dip soul candles, ritual candles to honor the dead which are lit on Yom Kippur, when the veil between the worlds is thin. Additionally, we will learn tkhines, Yiddish prayers written by women that have been lost to history until recently when they were uncovered through the archival work of Jewish trans folks and women.

Immense gratitude to Kohenet Annie Cohen, R’Noam Lerman, Rebeka Erev, R’Ariana Katz, and Jonah Adeline for their research and wisdom in recovering soul candle practice. It is because of them that we can gather for this workshop.


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