Some people wake up every morning with a cup of coffee and The New York Times. Some 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.
We at Ritualwell believe strongly in the power of ritual. 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. At Ritualwell, you can submit your own original content, browse and comment on existing rituals, create a profile of yourself to connect with others, and build personalized rituals for your life using the wealth of resources on this site.
Ritualwell is an initiative of Reconstructing Judaism (formerly Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and Jewish Reconstructionist Communities) in Wyncote, PA. It was originally a project of Kolot: The Center for Jewish Women’s and Gender Studies of RRC and was created in partnership with Ma’ayan, the Jewish Women’s Project. Thanks to Ruth Heiges for her contributions to earlier iterations of this project.