New course to explore the history and philosophy of Jewish spiritual worship

Posted Monday, May 13th, 2019

This May, Chabad of Downtown Coral Gablesis offering “With All My Heart,” a new six-session course by the acclaimed Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) that will examine the Jewish art of prayer and spiritual experience.

Beginning Wednesday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m., participants in the course will study the history and philosophy of Jewish worship, seeking to discover the deep, elegant structure embedded within the Jewish prayer book and within Judaism’s ancient synagogue traditions.

“Responsibilities pull us in so many directions that we seldom get a chance to reflect on our lives, our mission in this world, what’s true, and what really matters to us,” said Rabbi Avraham Stolik of Chabad, the local JLI instructor in Coral Gables. “Even much of religion seems to have become routine and devoid of heartfelt feeling and spirituality. This course is out to debunk that notion and reclaim the ‘spirit’ within spiritual practice.”

According to JLI’s website, the course promises to “outline profound Jewish prayer techniques that lend wings to our emotions and words to our yearnings, allowing us to communicate with something much larger than ourselves, and feel comfort and shelter within a reality that’s more whole, more intense, more real, and more beautiful.”

Rabbi Zalman Abraham, of JLI’s Brooklyn headquarters, explains: “We tend to turn to prayer when we’re out of options, seeking some kind of magical intervention when we’re having trouble dealing with what life throws our way. Prayer is meant to be so much more than that. It’s a way to relieve stress; find focus, clarity, and connection to a raw and vulnerable place deep within us, or even just to start each day from a positive, humble, and grateful frame of mind.”

With All My Heart explores questions such as: What is Jewish prayer? How do we achieve intimacy with God? What is the mystical meaning, power, and impact of our prayers? If prayer is a journey, what is its destination? And how do we practice focused mindfulness while engaging in our day-to-day responsibilities?

Rabbi Laibl Wolf, founder and dean of Spiritgrow and author of Practical Kabbalah, commented about the course: “Talking to God, or discovering the deeper self, is not taught or experienced by most Jews in a lifetime. It is therefore heroic of JLI to tackle this gap and bridge it with an excellent course that includes experiential elements like meditation.”

Like all JLI programs, this course is designed to appeal to people at all levels of knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship.

Interested students may call 305-490-7572 or visit for registration and for other course-related information. JLI courses are presented in Coral Gables in conjunction with Chabad of Downtown Coral Gables.

More Stories