It’s our Yom Kippur tradition at AARC to have several afternoon sessions where we can together study, meditate, and discuss. This year, there will be three sessions; two from about 2:15 to 3:30 pm, and one from 3:45 to 5 pm.
One of the 2:15 sessions will be guided meditation, led by our member, Barbara Boyk-Rust, who writes:
Soul Nourishment: Meditation and Sacred Chant for the Quiet of the Day.
As we fast and pray on Yom Kippur we are asked to be in more direct contact with our spirit and with our connection to God than any other day of the year. While we move toward this during the evening, morning, and late afternoon services, what assists us during the spaces between the services? A walk, a nap, a quiet conversation? Each may be of help. A different way of prayer is also fitting. It is a time of day when we may be longing for sustenance. Together we will create a form of soul nourishment through meditation and offering up a few sacred texts in chant. May this time augment and amplify the expression of our soul on this holy day.
Our member Ellen Dannin will facilitate a conversation about the Book of Jonah:
Yonah – It’s Much More than Just a “Whale”: We will share reading the story of Yonah / Jonah, with time for participants’ contributions, questions, thoughts. Feel free to bring your own texts.
At 3:45, you can choose between a walk, a chat with a friend, or whatever else moves you, and a session that uses Jonah, again, as a starting off point a conversation about solitary confinement. We’ll start with some materials from this T’ruah study guide (which is based on a Yom Kippur d’var member Margo Schlanger gave at AARC in 2013). But we’ll move fairly quickly into the modern experience of imprisonment and examine the question, What kind of conditions–physical and programmatic–create the best chance of t’shuvah? Our leaders for this session will be member Margo Schlanger and Ronald Simpson-Bey.
Ron is the Alumni Associate for JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA), part of the steering team of the newly formed Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration in Michigan (MI-CEMI), and co-founder and advisory board member of the Chance For Life (CFL) organization in Detroit. He served 27-years in the Michigan prison system, where he founded many enrichment programs rooted in transformation, redemption, and self-accountability. In the course of that time, he spent two years in solitary confinement. He was a jailhouse lawyer who got his conviction reversed by the courts and got himself out of prison. He attended Eastern Michigan University, Mott Community College, and Jackson Community College, and he has worked as a staff paralegal at the former Prison Legal Services of Michigan.
On this day of atonement, join this workshop to better understand American imprisonment, and what kinds of change we need and can help with.