This Ritual Life Archive

Welcome to This Ritual Life.

Here you will find out about ways to enhance your holiday experience, to celebrate or mark a meaningful life cycle event, and to deepen your experience of the everyday.

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Creating Opportunities, Opening Doors

When one door closes, or so the maxim goes, another door opens. In retrospect, many of us have seen that this is indeed the case in our lives: the loss of one opportunity or the blocking of one path does indeed open up new, unimagined, and sometimes altogether better possibilities. But when we stand before the just closed door, we are challenged because we can see neither the opportunities before us. How shall we move away from the constricting place of closing doors and move toward liberating new vistas where we can seek or create opening doors?



You have taken us from slavery to freedom,
From sorrow to joy,
From mourning to festivity,
From thick darkness to great light,
From enslavement to redemption.



Make one small gesture each day that might bring you even just slightly closer to a new and open door. Write one letter, make one phone call, initiate a conversation, consider one alternative approach, step outside and take a different route.



Blessed is the One who helps me to keep my eyes open to the outstretched arms (zeroa netuyah) and the signs (otot), divine and human, that will lead me to a place of promise.

V’nomar lefanav shirah chadasha: Halleluyah.

Let us sing a new song to you: Halleluyah




"…my life was dominated by a storytelling grandmother. Each day she told me a different story about one of the houses on the hill behind our house. We imaginatively entered each in turn, making their stories into a commentary on our own lives. One day I wept because the kitchen window was covered with frost. I thought there would be no story since we could not see out My grandmother laughed, warmed a penny in her palm, pressed it against the glass to make a peephole in the frost, then informed me that I had all I needed there. An opening big enough to glimpse the street outside, transformed by this frame, this tiny aperture, providing the sharpest possible focus; the ordinary scene without became a spectacle, separated from the ebb and flow of mundane life around it. It was the first time I clearly understood that something magic happened when a piece of nature was isolated and framed."

(Barbara Myerhoff and Jay Ruby, "Introduction" to A Crack in the Mirror: Reflexive Perspectives in Anthropology, ed. Jay Ruby (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982), p. 338


Pitchu li sha’arey tzedek, avo vam.

Open the gates of Tzedek and I will enter.


(CLAL Faculty)


CLAL's National Jewish Resource Center develops and publishes rituals that help to bridge the gap between our contemporary lives and the ancient wisdom of the Jewish tradition. We invite you to become a partner with us in thinking about the place of ritual in our lives and in developing new ritual resources for our time. If you are interested in being part of this exciting endeavor, visit with us in the Ritual Resource Area of the CLAL website by clicking here.

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