Medicine of the Jewish Holidays

Cultivating Wholeness in Sacred Cycles

Next Class in the Series: Shavuot on Tuesday, June 4, 2024

About

The Hebrew calendar is a profound cultural operating system. Guided by the cycles of the moon and attuned to the sun and its seasons, the calendar provides a mythic map for Jewish life that deeply connects us to the natural world and the cycles of our lives. 

The Jewish holidays, taken together, are a veritable medicine chest for the soul and for cohesive community life. Join Rabbi Zelig to discover how the Hebrew calendar guides our individual and collective journey toward wholeness.

Enroll in the year-round series and receive the following benefits:

  • Exclusive, monthly lunch & learn classes with Rabbi Zelig, Wilderness Torah’s Director of Spirituality and Education, held on the first Tuesday of each month from 12:00–12:45 pm PT
  • Access to archives of past class recordings to replay on your own time 
  • Connection with like-minded community throughout the year
  • 20% savings compared to enrolling in all individual holiday classes separately 
  • 10% discount when you register for other Down to Earth School of Jewish Wisdom courses   

Enroll at any time for the full year series. You may also register for just one holiday class at any time before the class begins (price per class listed below).

Register Here

Enroll in the Full Holiday Cycle

This series is available at a sliding scale fee:

  • $205 (lower-income rate)
  • $445 (medium-income rate)
  • $650 (higher-income rate)

If you can afford to pay more, your contribution will support the viability of these programs and make them financially accessible for other people. Read more about Wilderness Torah’s sliding scale guidelines here.

Register Here

Scroll down to see all upcoming holiday classes.

Shavuot

June 4, 2024 | 4:00–5:30 pm PT

Shavuot is our annual, early summer B’Mitzvah! We explore the intertwining themes of honoring First Fruits, receiving Torah, and coming of age in the wilderness. Come ready for revelation and the ultimate rite of passage!

Register Now

Registration Now Open

Class Fee:

This class is available at a sliding scale fee of $18 (lower-income rate), $36 (medium-income rate), and $54 (higher-income rate). If you can afford to pay more, your contribution will support the viability of these programs and make them financially accessible for other people. Read more about Wilderness Torah’s sliding scale guidelines here.

Register Now

Ben HaMetzarim (17 Tammuz to Tisha B’Av)

Tuesday, July 16, 2024 | 4:00–5:30 pm PT

In late summer the Hebrew calendar places grief in our path with two commemorations – 17th of Tammuz and the 9th of Av – and three weeks of deep reflection, Ben HaMetzarim, the 3 weeks ‘between the straits.’ We explore the layered history of ancient Sumerian ceremony, destruction of the Jerusalem Temple, the Holocaust, and how this season calls us to consciously encounter grief and trauma.

Registration Opens Soon

Class Fee:

This class is available at a sliding scale fee of $18 (lower-income rate), $36 (medium-income rate), and $54 (higher-income rate). If you can afford to pay more, your contribution will support the viability of these programs and make them financially accessible for other people. Read more about Wilderness Torah’s sliding scale guidelines here.

Elul
15 mins daily, weekdays during the month of Elul

Tuesday, September 3 – Friday, September 27, 2024 | 8:45–9:00 am PT

In Elul Divinity comes close as we prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Perhaps more accurately, we come close to Divinity with our spiritual preparation if we actually choose to prepare. One traditional way to prepare is to hear the shofar everyday, which helps us wake up to the season. Join Wilderness Torah community leaders daily in Elul to hear the shofar blown, engage in spiritual topics that prepare us for renewal and repair, and reflect on where you need to return spiritually. More info about teachers will come this spring.

Registration Opens Soon

Class Fee:

This class is available at a sliding scale fee of $54 (lower-income rate), $150 (medium-incomerate), and $180 (higher-income rate). If you can afford to pay more, your contribution will support the viability of these programs and make them financially accessible for other people. Read more about Wilderness Torah’s sliding scale policy here.

Sukkot

Tuesday, October 8, 2024 | 4:00–5:30 pm PT

Sukkot is called Ha Chag, “The Festival.” It’s the ultimate Jewish holiday, culminating the agriculture cycle that began at Passover. Sukkot Instructs us to dwell outside, wave medicine plants in six directions and to dwell with our ancestors and our neighbors. Ultimately Sukkot teaches us to pray for rain as caretakers of our previous planet. We explore the layers of Sukkot’s history and embodied ritual opportunity to remember the centrality of Sukkot as the crescendo of the Jewish year and of Jewish communal life.

Registration Opens Soon

Class Fee:

This class is available at a sliding scale fee of $18 (lower-income rate), $36 (medium-income rate), and $54 (higher-income rate). If you can afford to pay more, your contribution will support the viability of these programs and make them financially accessible for other people. Read more about Wilderness Torah’s sliding scale guidelines here.

Hanukkah
4-day series

December 23, 24, 26 & 27, 2024 | 12:00–1:00 pm PT

Hanukkah instructs us to cultivate light when it’s darkest, remember miracles when that seems impossible, and to rededicate ourselves to a sacred life. Hanukkah means “dedication” and invokes the hidden light of Creation. We explore the historical, cultural, and mystical dimensions of this beloved winter holiday to more deeply understand how Jewish tradition helps us balance the energies of Creation and become agents of change in difficult times.

Registration Opens Soon

Class Fee:

This class is available at a sliding scale fee of $54 (lower-income rate), $100 (medium-incomerate), and $180 (higher-income rate). If you can afford to pay more, your contribution will support the viability of these programs and make them financially accessible for other people. Read more about Wilderness Torah’s sliding scale policy here.

Meet Your Teacher

Rabbi Zelig Golden, Wilderness Torah Director of Spirituality & Education

Rabbi Zelig Golden expresses his vision for awakening earth-based Judaism by integrating thought leadership, ritual facilitation, and village-based mentorship to support multi-generational community, youth rites of passage, and training for emerging leaders. Zelig earned a Masters in Jewish Studies from the Graduate Theological Union, rabbinic ordination from ALEPH supported by the Wexner Fellowship, and Maggidic ordination by Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi ztz”l. He lives with his wife Rachel and three kids in rural Occidental, CA near the Bay Area.

Guest teachers for some of the classes, such as Elul or Hanukkah, will be announced as the holiday approaches.

Registration is Now Closed for These Classes

You can still access the replays of these classes by registering for our year-round Medicine of the Jewish Holidays series.  Get access to all live holiday classes and class archives when you register for the full series.

Purim

On the cusp of spring, we tell and retell Esther’s spiritual story – you know, the one that does not mention God once! In this class, we explore Purim themes like revealing the hidden, transcending notions of good and bad, and why we party when we should be indignant, and their relationship to the season’s turning.

Passover

Spring has sprung and a people is born – every year at Passover we are reborn. In this two part series, we explore the fractilic mythos of Passover’s liberation theology that works on the personal, communal, and ecological levels; apply Passover’s ritual trajectory (including sacred fire!) to enact our own freedom journey; embody the mystical pathways that Passover sets in motion with the first barley harvest and the counting of the Omer.

Lag Ba’Omer

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | 4:00–5:30 pm PT

What do Bonfires, bows and arrows, agricultural angst, the plague, and mystical holy fire have in common? Come find out as we explore the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer – known in Hebrew as Lag Ba’Omer. We examine the relationship between cultural history and the seasonal cycle, how the rabbis made it relevant for their time, and how we can make it relevant for ours.