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Beyond Avinu Malkeinu: Creating Your Own Name for God for the High Holidays

Hosted By: Ritualwell

HaShem, Elohim, Adonai, Melech, Rock, Source, Shelter. How do we call out to God? Is God a king? A concept? Male, female, ungendered? A metaphor? Should we use traditional names for God or create our own when we pray?

After an intriguing debate about this on a Facebook thread, liturgists Trisha Arlin and Alden Solovy decided to explore this fascinating subject together. Alden will lead a text-based conversation on names, titles, and descriptions of God in Torah and High Holiday liturgy, some of which you may recognize and some of which you may not. Using the Avinu Malkeinu prayer, Trisha will then lead us into identifying which of these names, whether traditional, contemporary, or of your own devising, you want to use while you engage in the important holy conversation of prayer during the High Holidays.

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Trisha Arlin

Trisha Arlin is a liturgist, writer, performer and student of prayer in Brooklyn, NY. Trisha has served as a Liturgist, Scholar, and Artist in Residence and taught for venues including the National Havurah Committee’s Summer Institute, Ritualwell.org, Haggadot.com, and for synagogues around the country. She is a builder of Bayit’s Liturgical Arts project. Trisha received a BA in Theater from Antioch College in 1975 and MFA in Film (Screenwriting) in 1997 from Columbia University. In 2009/2010, Trisha was an Arts Fellow at the Drisha Institute. In 2011, she graduated from the sixth cohort of the Davennen Leadership Training Institute (DLTI). Trisha’s liturgy has been used in services, for ritual occasions, and at venues of many denominations nationwide. She is the author of Place Yourself: Words of Poetry and Intention (a collection of liturgy and kavannot). Her work has appeared in the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion; Seder Tefillot, Forms of Prayer: Prayers for the High Holydays, (Movement for Reform Judaism); B’chol Levavecha (CCAR Press); Beside Still Waters: A Journey of Comfort and Renewal (Bayit and Ben Yehuda Press); A Poet’s Siddur (Ain’t Got No Press); Studies in Judaism and Pluralism (Ben Yehuda Press) and can be found online at TrishaArlin.com, at Ritualwell.org, opensiddur.org.
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Ritualwell is a resource for creating, sharing, and learning about Jewish rituals.
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