Bina ve-Daat בינה ודעת
Jewish Meditation and Contemplative Prayer
A Space in Jerusalem for Spiritual Renewal & Contemplative Prayer
Photographer: Axel Kirchhoff
This photo is part of Axel's wonderful project "Silent Portraits", a unique "compilation of photographic insights into the variety of methods, ways, traditions and religions that deal with spirituality."
We invite you to support the artist Axel Kirchhoff in the realization of this book project with a donation or by pre-ordering the book.
Bina ve-Daat ("Contemplation and Insight")
in Israel and Western Europe
Spiritual people yearn to experience the depth dimension of their existence, in which our religions recognize God. The Abrahamic religions offer narratives, images and rituals not only to cultivate the experience of God, but also to curb it and integrate it into productive everyday life. For Judaism in particular, the Torah serves as a guide to spiritual maturity and a deepened relationship with God. The mitzvot (commandments) – e.g. the daily practice of prayer and contemplative Bible study, the weekly Shabbat, and mindful interaction with fellow human beings – unfold their full spiritual effect only through kawana (inner intention, mindfulness) and hitbonenut – Jewish Meditation. This is based on the Midrash (allegoric interpretation of the Bible) and on the mystical sources of Judaism: The Book of Zohar, the Lurianic Kabbalah and Hasidism.
Although the Jewish Meditation practice is firmly rooted in the halachic way of life, essential elements can be developed as an independent contemplative path. The form developed and taught by Gabriel Strenger since 2010 - Bina ve-Daat (Heb. for "Contemplation and Knowledge") - combines contemplation on selected psalms, Hebrew letters and Names of God, the mystical Sefirot tree serving as a "contemplative compass" and spiritual map for the spiritual journey. Hasidic niggunim (melodies) intensify the resonances awakening on different levels of consciousness and support the relationship with God as well as the development of fundemantal spiritual resources.
Gabriel's seminars are structured as an interplay of lectures, sitting and movement meditations as well as Hebrew chanting. In-depth group discussions facilitate the processing and assimilation of the experiences.
For seminar inquiries in Israel, Germany, Austria and Switzerland please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jewish Meditation: Characteristics, Practice and its Relationship with Eastern Meditation Traditions
Gabriel Strenger in an interview with Brother David Damberg from the Benedictine City Monastery, Hanover (December 2022)
2022 Yom Kippur retreat in Jerusalem
Since 2017, a two-day meditation and prayer retreat has been held annually on Yom Kippur in Jerusalem, led by Gabriel Strenger and Elie Holzer.
This year's retreat: 4.-5. October 2022