The Ashrei* Project with Rabbi Michael Lezak
What is an authentic Jewish way to claim more happiness in one's life? How might you and I go about receiving or delivering more blessings day by day? How might we claim a deeper spiritual path right now? These are some of the deep-life questions that the ancient writers and editors of the siddur (prayerbook) asked when they assembled the first Jewish prayerbook 1100 years ago. These are also some of the questions that congregants have been asking of themselves in our Shacharit - Wednesday morning minyan on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 8:10 am.
A few months ago, I invited participants in the minyan to begin reflecting on Psalm 145, the first of six psalms that make up the P'sukei d'Zimra (‘verses of praise') section of the morning service. This psalm, also known as ‘Ashrei,' is an exquisite psalm, arranged alphabetically in Hebrew as an acrostic, that paints various images of how and when and where we might perceive the presence of the Holy One in our lives. Several congregants have decided to write their own meditations on Ashrei. In the coming months, we will share with you some of their reflections. I hope that you find soulful inspiration in their words. And I invite you to take some time to some nuggets of truth waiting for you in this most beautiful psalm (you'll find it on pp. 52-54 in Mishkan T'filah). Please feel free to email me your meditations on the Ashrei at
and please join us as we lift up these ancient words and our ancient souls on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month in our sanctuary.
*meaning ‘happy' or ‘blessed'; See Psalms 84:5 and 144:15