DIY TOOLS

Wrench, screwdriver, and hammer

User-friendly tools designed for do-it-yourselfers - whether it's personal or professional, we hope these materials give you the  confidence to lead your community or enact Jewish practice in your life.

I just moved into a new home.

An Eternal Light in Your Home: New Expressions of Reform Practice

An eternal light, or Ner Tamid in Hebrew, burns 24/7 above the holy arks of synagogues and temples around the world. It is a symbol of God’s presence, and a reminder of the pillar of light that led the Israelites through the desert out of Egypt. It connects us to our heritage and to the still small voice within us that quietly reminds us that there is more to life than we can see around us.

 

Creating an eternal light for your home is a wonderful way to bring blessing and calm into your new space.

  1. Purchase a candle holder or make it an art project - decorate an empty jar (or anything transparent to translucent)

  2. Place a safe, low-light, battery-powered votive candle inside and turn the light on

  3. Find a spot in your home to display - somewhere visible, where it’s symbolism might be most impactful

  4. Leave it “lit” 24/7

 

Developed by Rabbi Devon Lerner, Program Director, Roots of Reform Judaism.

Hang a Mezuzah

Visit our Judaism in Your Home page to learn more about hanging a mezuzah.

A Time to Share

So you’ve made your eternal light and hung your mezuzah  - what’s next? A Time to Share features blessings, readings, and prayers to bring even more meaningful and accessible Jewish ritual and practice into your new home.

RRJ Booklet Project

I'm considering participating in an interfaith wedding.

If you have been asked to participate in the wedding of a friend or relative, and you need help creating and personalizing their ceremony, you will find a wealth of information and guidance in Celebrating Interfaith Marriages. This handbook gives you everything you need to participate in or create an interfaith wedding ceremony. It includes several sample interfaith ceremonies and choices for prayers and readings for each element of the service. You will also find helpful information about the similarities and differences between Christian and Jewish weddings and customs, and advice about how to deal with some sensitive interfaith issues.

Interfaith Marriages.jpg
I'm traveling abroad for the first time.

בָּרוּך אַתָּה יְיָ שְֶנָתַן לָנוּ הִזְדָמְנוּת זוֹ לְטַיֵיל וְלִראוֹת אֶת עַצְמֵנוּ וְאֶת הַעוֹלָם בְּדְרַכִים חֲדַשוֹת

 

Bah-ruch ah-tah Adonai she-nah-tan lah-nu heez-dam-noot zo l’tah-yel, v’leer-ot et hah-o-lam b’de-rah-cheem cha-dah-shot.

 

Blessed are you, O God, for giving us this opportunity to travel and see ourselves and the world in new ways.

As we embark on this journey, we pray that we will reach our destination safely, joyfully, and peacefully. May our travels be free from harm and filled with memorable experiences of seeing new places and meeting new people. May they remind us that we are all a part of one diverse human family. May they inspire us to work together to make this a better world for everyone.

A Time to Share

Bring even more meaningful Jewish ritual and practice into your daily life with A Time to Share featuring accessible blessings, readings, and prayers. 

RRJ Booklet Project

I'm a lay person who needs to lead a Shiva service.

After the death of a loved one, it is a Jewish tradition to “sit Shiva” for up to seven days. This is a time when friends and extended family members come to the home of the family in mourning to bring food and to pay their respects. Everyone can come as they are, in casual or business attire. Your presence is what is most important. The time for these visits is usually set for a two to three-hour period during the afternoon or early evening.

 

For early evening visitation, a rabbi or lay person often leads a Shiva service for all those who are present. The content of this service can vary, but all Shiva services include the mourner's prayer, or Kaddish.

 

Payers and readings to consider for inclusion in a Shiva service are below, and, for even more readings, check out the "Mourning the loss of a loved one" section on our Judaism in Your Home page.

A Time to Mourn

As a lay person, being tapped to lead a family through the Shiva ritual can feel daunting. A Time to Mourn offers an accessible, ready-made Shiva service to help you provide comfort to the bereaved.

RRJ Booklet Project

Prayers & Readings

Introductory Reading

God, in whose care are the souls of all the living and the spirits of all who have died, we have gathered to celebrate ______________’s life and to mourn our loss. Though our hearts are filled with sorrow, we give thanks for all that was true and good in his/her life, for all that was sweet and inspiring in his/her character.​

El Malei Rachamim: O God, Full of Compassion
O God, full of compassion, Eternal Spirit of the universe, grant perfect rest under the shelter of Your presence to our beloved who has entered eternity. Source of mercy and loving kindness let him/her find refuge in the shadow of your wings and let her/his bound soul be bound up in the bond of everlasting life. The Eternal God is his/her inheritance. May she/he rest in peace and let us say: Amen.

Psalm 23
God is my Shepherd; I shall not want. You make me to lie down in green pastures. You lead me beside still waters. You restore my soul. You guide me in straight paths for the sake of Your name. Even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You have set a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed my head with oil. My cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of God forever.

Mourner's Kaddish

Don't see what you're looking for? Ask our Rabbis!

We're here to help. Complete the (very short) form linked at the button below and one of our RRJ Rabbis will be in touch to learn more about your specific needs, offer insights, and provide or direct you to resources to help you do it yourself. You can also visit our Judaism in Your Home page for more.