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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Jewish Mindfulness Resources, for the Holy Days and Every Day

updated February 1, 2021

Image by s2dent from Pixabay

"Judaism is by nature a religion that encourages us to be mindful of what we do each day. When we eat, for example, and say a bracha (prayer), we are supposed to be mindful that the food we are eating is a gift and not something to be taken for granted."

Rabbi Dan Dorsch, "The Value of Mindfulness in Jewish Life"

by Catharine Hannay

My interest in secular mindfulness actually first came from reading the works of contemporary Buddhist teachers from Jewish backgrounds, including Jack Kornfield and Surya Das.

In the past couple of years, I've been learning about Jewish traditions that provide wonderful opportunities to practice various aspects of mindfulness. For example, 

  • Yom Kippur: focusing on forgiveness and compassion.
  • Sukkot: engaging the senses through the Arba Minimand reflecting on impermanence; and
  • Purim: thinking about our authentic selves and the masks we typically wear.
Here are a variety of articles and videos on integrating mindfulness with Jewish practices and teachings. I hope you find these resources useful, whether you're hoping to learn more about Jewish traditions or looking for ways to integrate your mindfulness practice with your faith. 

Reflections on Judaism and Mindfulness

Be. Here. Now. An Introduction to Jewish Mindfulness, by Dr. Benjamin Epstein for the Jerusalem Post. 
This is a reflection on the concept of yishuv hada’at by the author of Living in the Presence: A Jewish Mindfulness Guide for Everyday Life. 
Dr. Epstein also published a shorter version of this article, The Jewish Approach to Mindfulness Will Blow Your Mind, at

The Intersection of Mindfulness and Judaism, by Rabbi Brian Field at 
Rabbi Field explains how mindfulness connects to three core practices: Bracha, teshuvah and mitzvah(To read this article, scroll halfway down the page, past the announcement about their meditation group.)

On Mindfulness and Jewish Meditation, by Frumma Rosenberg-Gottlieb at
In this two-part series, Ms. Rosenberg-Gottlieb explores the physiological, emotional and spiritual benefits of achieving mindfulness and tranquility.

A Path of Wellness: Jewish Mindfulness Meditation, by Cantor Florence Friedman at
Cantor Friedman explains that "in Jewish Mindfulness Meditation, Judaism is the yesod, the foundation, and mindfulness meditation is the derech, the path."

Videos with Jewish Perspectives on Mindfulness and Compassion

Ken Y'hi Ratzon, Elana Arian
(in English and Hebrew)

song based on Buddhist and Jewish lovingkindness practice:  
'Ken Y'hi Ratzon' means 'let it be so,' 'may it be so' or 'may it be G-d's will.'

What Is Jewish Mindfulness? 
Rabbi Yael Levy of A Way In- Jewish Mindfulness Organization explains how a mindful approach to the Torah and the holy days can "guide our hearts and direct our intentions."
(3 minutes)

(2 minutes)
This is a video produced by Jewish kids for Jewish kids.

David Gottlieb discusses how a disastrous shabat dinner turned into an opportunity to practice mindfulness and compassion, integrating what he'd learned from Buddhist meditation and traditional Jewish meditation practices.
(16 minutes)

Mindful Approaches to the Holy Days

Of Sound Mindfulness: The Essence of Our Holy Days, by Rabbi Yael Levy at

Photo by Element5Digital on Unsplash


Mindful Hanukkah with Kids, by Lori Lite at Stress Free

Mindfulness Teachings for Hanukkah, by Rabbi Yael Levy at


Mindfulness Practices for Every Step of the Seder, by Sarah Chandler at

This Passover, Mindful Breathing Can Liberate and Renew Us, by Benjamin Shalva at

hamentashen image by xeno4ka from Pixabay


Embodied and Mindfulness Practices for Joy on Purim, by Rabbi Lavey Derby and Julie Emden at

Take Off Your Mask, by Sara Debbie Gutfreund at

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah: A Jewish Mindful Holiday of Waking Up, by Adam Fogel at 


Yom Kippur

Infusing Repentance with Mindfulness and Self-Love, by Ketriellah Goldfeder at

Yom Kippur: Solidarity, Compassion and Forgiveness, by Rabbi ShmuelRabinowitz for

Yom Kippur: The Practice of Meditation and Atonement, by by Adam Fogel at


related posts: 

Ronit Jinich discusses her experiences with mindfulness at synagogue and at Sukkot. (Scroll down to interview question #4.)

And there are many more resources on practicing and teaching mindfulness and compassion on the