Just as the Torah reading for Yom Kippur explains the precise ritual that the High Priest would perform on Yom Kippur, so too do we internalize that process through the Seder Ha-Avodah. Explore its core meaning, power and resonance in our lives today with these resources from Rabbi Leon Morris, Aviva Chernick, Ruth Calderon, and more.
Ruth Calderon: Ishmael, My Son, Bless Me
Dr. Ruth Calderon is one of Israel’s leading figures spearheading efforts to revive Hebrew culture and a pluralistic Israeli-Jewish identity. In 1989, she co-established ELUL in Jerusalem, the first beit midrash in which secular and religious women and men studied and taught together.
Rabbi Leon Morris: Mining Seder Ha-Avodah for Contemporary Meaning
Rabbi Leon A. Morris is President of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, an open, inclusive, diverse, and intellectually challenging Jewish learning community, based in Jerusalem with programs worldwide. He was a member of BJ for many years and together with his family made aliyah from Sag Harbor to Jerusalem in 2014.
Aviva Chernick: Offerings from the Altar of the Heart
Aviva Chernick is an award-winning Canadian musician, mindfulness educator, and ba’alat neginah (leader of devotional song) who has brought her voice in music and prayer to communities and congregations around the globe. For the past fifteen years—alongside an active performing and touring career—Aviva has served as a guest in communities across North America leading and teaching about the voice in prayer and about contemplative practice
David Katzenstein: A Photographic Journey of Ritual
Over the past 30 years David Katzenstein has traveled extensively throughout the world creating narrative imagery for fine art exhibitions, global corporate giants, and philanthropic organizations. Spontaneous, authentic, and bold, his lens captures the essence of each moment, providing the viewer with an intimate view of the world around us. An archive of online exhibitions and projects can be viewed on his website. In 2018 he co-founded the nonprofit The Human Experience Project, with the mission to create visual and narrative content that supports the mission of organizations, institutions, and individuals who work to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities.
Ishay Ribo: Seder Ha-Avodah
Ishay Ribo’s “Seder Ha’avoda” recalls the service of the High Priest on Yom Kippur, and most of the song’s lyrics come straight from the liturgy. Specifically, the song discusses how the High Priest would approach God on Yom Kippur, begging forgiveness for the people’s sins. In Ribo’s version, however, he also recalls all of God’s kindnesses and miracles at the same time. This beautiful song offers a powerful companion to our Seder Ha-Avodah in our mahzor.
Nizakher Venikatev: A Reflective Guide for Seder Ha-Avodah
In the First Confession, the High Priest would stretch his hands over the bull offering and confess his sins and those of his household, “withholding nothing in embarrassment.” Try speaking aloud some of the mistakes you’ve made in the past year. Are there things that you are embarrassed to admit? How does saying them out loud let you begin the process of atonement? Explore these questions and more with our reflective guide for Seder Ha-Avodah.
Breaking Down Seder Ha-Avodah
Looking to understand the history and meaning of Seder Ha-Avodah? Curious why we discuss sacrifices in the Temple on Yom Kippur? Learn more about the essence of Seder Ha-Avodah here.