Sunday, November 11, 2018

Learn Shabbat Liturgy with Trisha Arlin

Our Shabbat Liturgy – (From Barchu to Emet)

Starting this Fall, liturgist, part-time rabbinic student and longtime Kolot member, Trisha Arlin, will teach six-week classes on sections the Kolot Shabbat Morning Service, where, along with learning some history, traditional meanings and ritual moves of the prayers and service, we will explore what each prayer can mean personally and to the community.  

First six-week class:  The blessings from the Barchu to the Shma (the Kriat Shma section).  No Hebrew Necessary.

Dates, times and locations TBD based on participants.  Can do day and/or evening class.  Cost is $300/per six week session, due the start of the class with each student entitled to one individual make up session if a class is missed.  Minimum 3 students per class.    References to previous students available upon request. 

Also available:  Individual tutoring for the entire service (or individual components), going at your own pace,  $75 a session.   Also, Drash Writing, tutoring and/or editing.  Also happy to start up another Personal Prayer Writing cohort if there is interest.

Contact Trisha at


Trisha Arlin is a liturgist and very part-time rabbinic student at the Academy of Jewish religion; 2014 Liturgist-In-Residence at the National Havurah Summer Institute; the editor of RAISING MY VOICE, The Selected Writings of Rabbi Ellen Lippmann and VOICES, the Kolot Chayeinu Journal; creator of the Writing Personal Prayer workshops. 

A collection of her work, PLACE YOURSELF, with a foreword by Rabbi Jill Hammer and cover and inside art by Mike Cockrill, will be published in the Fall of 2018 by Dimus Parrhesia Press and will soon be available for pre-orders.   Individual prayers and kavannot have been or will soon be published in the JOURNAL OF FEMINIST STUDIES IN RELGION (2019); RENEW OUR HEARTS: A SIDDUR FOR SHABBAT  DAY,  Bayit and Ben Yehuda Press, (2019);  BESIDE STILL WATERS, A JOURNAL OF COMFORT AND RENEWAL, 2018, Bayit and Ben Yehuda Press;  A POET'S SIDDUR, Ain't Got No Press, 2017; and STUDIES IN JUDAISM AND PLURALISM, Ben Yehuda Press 2016 and her work can be found online on, the and on her blog, Trisha Arlin: Words of Prayer and Intention  

Liturgy Use
Trisha's liturgy has been used at services and ritual occasions at venues of many denominations around the country, including Kolot Chayeinu and Union Temple (Brooklyn, NY) , Makor (Long Island, NY), Bnai Keshet (Montclair, NJ), Lev Matanot (Toronto, CA), Beth Israel-West Temple (Cleveland, OH), NHI Summer Institute, Adath Shalom (Morris Plains, NJ), Temple Chai (Phoenix, AZ), Moishe House website, Sinai Free Synagogue (Mt. Vernon, NY), Congregation Ner Shalom (Woodbridge, VA), Temple Emanuel (Franklin Lakes, NJ), Temple Isaiah (Palm Springs, CA), Addison County Jewish Congregation (Middlebury, VT), Columbus OH JCC, First Unitarian Church (Wilmington, DL), Kol Hai (New Paltz, NY), Congregation Kol HaNeshema (Sarasota, FL)

Monday, November 5, 2018

Blessings for The Night Before The Election

May you contribute all that you can contribute and not punish yourself for what you couldn’t do.

May the good people win and the bad people lose.

May you not eat or drink too much crap while you wait for results.

If the good people lose and the bad people win, may you survive to fight another day.

May you have a good wifi connection so that you may be able to watch as many kitten and puppy videos as you need to so that you can stay calm.

May you have friends to celebrate and commiserate with.

May you get a good night’s sleep.

May the line to vote on Tuesday be long and filled with first time voters.

And may we emerge from it all with hope.

And let us say, Amen

Saturday, October 27, 2018

For Pittsburgh

Blessed One-ness,
Though we are afraid
Help us imagine possibilities
Within our fear
And our fury,
Of safety
Of healing
Of clarity
Of action.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

All Our Grudges: An Alternative Kol Nidrei

All grudges, resentments, and vows of vengence and bitterness, 
All undying hatreds or annoyances that we may hold onto
Or talk endlessly about, boring our friends,
Or lose sleep obsessing over
Or write bad poetry about
Or bring up at family dinners to the consternation of all present;

From the previous Day of Atonement until this Day of Atonement
For the benefit of our mental health
And the peace of mind of all who surround us;
Regarding all of this that we have refused to let go,
Despite the fact that they are long past
Or pointless
Or one-sided
Or ridiculous
Or destructive of the innocent
Or hurting ourselves more than anyone else;

Regarding all of them, these intrusions on the Holy Wholeness,
we repudiate them.
All of them, we let them go,
Give up
Wave away
Acknowledge as stupid
Declare null and void
Because we are done.

Our grudges are no longer our grudges,
Our silent resentments are no longer silent,
Our eternal vows of vengence are no more.

The entire community acknowledges and takes action
So that everyone we have been angry at is forgiven,
Every hurt we did not speak about will be dealt with,
Every relative will be loved for who they are rather than who they are not,
Every change in the world that needs to be made will be made rather than contemplated.

Holy Wholeness!
We need help to step back into connection with the One.
We look for the compassion and mercy
That is always there
If we but pay attention.

Yes, there it is.
We are forgiven.

Blessed be the One-ness, 
Creator, Created, Creating.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Torah Covers That Go Wow: Changing the Torah Covers on Erev Rosh Hashanah

On Rosh Hashanah
It's time,
Among much else,
To change the covers on our torahs from the everyday colors to white.
I google
Torah covers,
Hoping for some jewish knowledge to inspire deep thoughts
And at the top of the list there is an ad,
An ad for a company that makes custom torah covers.
 The headline for the ad reads,
Torah Covers That Go Wow!

Torah covers that go, "wow!"?

I'm impressed
And I start thinking about the other talking torah covers I have known
And what they might have to say
Besides wow.

For instance, I once knew a torah cover that said, Because You Are a Girl You're Not Allowed To Touch Me.
(Slowly and deliberately touch the cover) (grin)

I knew a torah cover that said, Pick me up and Dance With Me!
I met that torah cover at my first simchat Torah.
I picked it up, and we danced.

I knew a torah cover that said Take Me Off And Look Inside!
So I did
And it was baffling and complicated and never boring.

I knew a torah cover that said, Don't Worship Me, I'm Just A Book.
And I agreed, and kissed it with my tallit anyway.

I knew a torah cover that said, Doubt Is An Act Of Faith!
And so I asked questions, and I listened to the answers and then asked some more.

And these High Holyday white torah covers, what do they say?
These cry, Remember Me.
For loved ones of blessed memory, who gave so much to us.
I still miss them.

And we remember.

Last year the torah covers spoke and said,
“Every small stain on white is visible, every blemish is there for the world to see”*
So that we may know ourselves, seek forgiveness and change.

And everywhere there is Rosh Hashana, what else do all the white covers say? 
They sing the song of the Shofar, the three notes,
According to Rabbi Arthur Waskow,
Tekiah, “Awake!”,  
Teruah ,”Open your heart!”,  
Shevarim, “Sob with all who suffer!”

All these noisy covers, going: Help Me, Touch Me, Go Away, Learn and Study, Ask and Listen, Worship, Fear, Dance, Forgive and Be Forgiven, Remember, Awaken, Open Up, Empathize, Resist...

All these voices
Kolot Chayeiu, voices of our lives,
Kol Shofar, all the voices of the Shofar
Kol Torah, the voices of our torah
As we join together.
And go,

Shana Tova

*Tabitha St. Bernard and Adam Jaffe, Changing The Torah Covers