Welcome to Lab/Shul, an artist-driven, everybody-friendly, God-optional, pop up, experimental community for sacred Jewish gatherings based in NYC and reaching the world.

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Blind Beggar/Stubborn King: First Lab/Shul Shabbat AM in 2014

Why is change so difficult? All this positive energy of new year’s resolutions and intentions for a better everything – and so much of it fizzling out by month’s end..?
Meet a Flame: Cleo the Courtier
In the Judaic mythic vocabulary the resistance to change is known as The Pharaoh, and this past Saturday morning, mid-snow, at our Lab/Shul Shabbat AM at City Winery we were invited to cross the threshold into the royal chamber and enter the very heart of this resistant ruler, sometimes known as ego or the corporate operating system, and often found in our own hearts and minds. 

80 of us gathered downtown and to help us get inspired, look at our blind spots and shortcut through our shortcomings we watched this super short vid about the power of words, and one blind beggar, and one smart woman: get inspired: change your words
 Our special guest, Hazan George Mordechai led us in exquisite Iraqi-Jewish liturgy and chanted the verses from Exodus in Iraqi trope, as Rabbi Sarah Sapadin, a trained Storahtelling Maven,  acted as Cleo (SEE VIDEO ABOVE), a PR agent in the Egyptian court, troubled by her role in resisting freedom – taking us into the Pharoahic heart of resistance.  What can we do about this today? In our lives or the greater world? Ella, age 9, had a  suggesti

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on – not just walk a mile in the shoes the other that is holding us back – but walk with their very heart – to open theirs and ours – wider.   
While the grown up’s (and some kids like Ella wrestled with Exodus, JessAnn Smith ran a fantastic kids program with a great group of volunteers engaging the kids in the same story and questions. “We have to be nice to our hearts” little Mona said when asked about she learned…
Amichai, Shira Kline, Jeremy Brown, and Glenn Grossman made the ritual and music magic happen again. Lab/Shul Board Member Rhona silverbush brought fresh gluten-free challah, City Winery donated wine, and the snow outside slowly melted, change happening right before our very wider open eyes.