From the bottom of our hearts we thank you for the most meaningful High Holy Day services.
For once,we were sitting at the edges of our seats,drinking in the words,prayers,songs,beautiful music - not wanting to miss out on a thing.
These deeply powerful services nourished the very cores of our being - giving us light and hope,putting meaning to the Judaism we have been searching for.
With Gratitude and Love,
Hildi and Peter Kaufmann
I recently attended my first Rimon Kabbalat Shabbat service. From the moment I arrived, I was welcomed by Rabba Kaya and other community members who made me feel at home. If Shabbat is a time to experience holiness and divine presence, to appreciate our blessings and reflect on our accomplishments then Rabba Kaya of Rimon helps to facilitate this reality. She has an innate gift to transform the secular into sacred space and to create a spiritual holy prayer community. She fosters a mood of tranquility and inclusiveness allowing one to feel open and free to express sincere heartfelt prayer. The unity of the entire prayer congregation as one voice was palpable and enriching.
Rabba Kaya demonstrates deep intention while leading the service. Her passion is contagious; a role model to help us feel true meaning through prayer. As the service began, I immediately felt transformed into a spiritually fulfilling realm able to forget the problems and tribulations of this world to focus on the beauty of Shabbat.
The meditation allowed me to reflect on my usual activities, to appreciate the special daily events of life, and to feel enhanced gratitude for our senses and our miraculous bodily function.
The entire service had the perfect balance of soulful melody, well-timed silence, and ample time for meaningful self-reflection and silent individual prayer.
The inspiring Torah discussion was eloquently communicated with crystal clear detail allowing easy comprehension while making the text relevant to our modern day life. Rabba Kaya was able to beautifully express the theme of compassion for humanity, one of Judaism’s fundamental spiritual goals by bridging ancient Torah teaching with contemporary thought.
What I am trying to express is that the entire experience was just amazing. To feel at peace and total comfort in a new prayer community is very rare. Rabba Kaya just seems to have the unique ability to bring people together. This is demonstrated by the close-knit circular seating arrangement, the encouragement to welcome each other to Shabbat through smiles and warm gazing, the soulful music, the refreshing meditation, and soft gentle words throughout; I felt very comfortable with a special sense of belonging.
This Kabbalat service was without a doubt the most spiritually uplifting Kabbalat I have every attended. It continues to inspire me weeks after the occasion. Rabba Kaya and the Rimon community have found the formula to make a lasting impression on one’s soul. Thank you for allowing me to share in this sacred prayer community.
I can't thank you enough for all your help and guidance especially with our fledgling Chevra Kadisha. In a world of people who destroy, it is heartening to find someone who builds.
And what lovely things you build. You build community and hope and peace of spirit.
It's a Kiddush Hashem.
On behalf of Congregation K'nesset Israel, thank you for working with me and our musicians on bringing a Renewal Kabbalat Shabbat service to our community this winter. On both occasions, the service drew in a new segment of our community to tefilah and lowered barriers for entry into prayer. Furthermore, the processes of planning the experience and of particpating in it have broadened congregants' understanding of the context of tefilah.
We look forward to building on what we have learned and are much enriched for the Torah and technique you brought to us.
Rabbi David Weiner
Rabba Kaya teaches Judaism, translating it into the language of our common experience, not as a religion but as a devotion. As such Judaism can be experienced as a practice of profound discovery and self expression, a path shared within a community seeking union with the transcendent and sacred. This is in stark contrast to a duty of conformity and self obfuscation so often associated with religious dogma and traditions repeated by rote. How refreshing this is to the soul!
I would not be involved with Rimon if it were not for what I experience in myself and others at the Rimon programs led by Rabbi Kaya. Every class, service, and program has transformed the people who come to participate. It is palpable. What is generated is genuine spiritual awakening - a “reality” that I will always support wherever and however I find it.
Deborah Golden Alecson
Rabba Kaya’s classes are a unique blend of traditional wisdom and modern thought. From the opening niggun until the last word Kaya creates a sacred learning space. Each session has provided me with inspiration for further study and new understanding of materials presented. Kaya is truly a master teacher.
I am writing on behalf of the Zinberg family, to thank you and the volunteers of the Hevre Kadisha from the bottom of our hearts. Thanks to all of you, my father's transition from passing to his final rest completely satisfied our hopes and desires that this occasion be one of respect and sacredness. The care shown to my father and our family, from those who performed the solemn tahara (ritual washing), to the gentle volunteers who came to pray and meditate with his body all through the night, from the time we went home until the time we returned the next day, was remarkable and meaningful. We felt held and supported through the entire process. What a gift - both you and the Hevre Kadisha's graceful framing of my father's last chapter on this earth. Thank you.
Thank you Kaya, for bringing Rimon to the Berkshires. You create sacred space in your every endeavor, your classes, the programs you offer, the people you bring to speak or sing or move or breathe with us. You show and help us to open the doors of traditional and contemporary Judaism through a spiritual lens. Rimon provides a context in which this non-traditional seeker can be her Jewish self.
I become richer and fuller with each new offering from Rimon. Besides your classes, my personal favorites have been The Epichorus concert, the Yom Hashoah poetry and music service, the interfaith panel discussion about life after death, and the havdalah/welcoming of the ancestors prayers you led us through in my sukkah this year.
You raise us up Kaya. Many blessings to you and to Rimon.
The images, sounds, stories, poems, music, prayers, candle-lighting, history, song, responsa, silence, lamentations, language, community, sacredness,- all, all were an evocation of love and dedication, inspiration and commemoration of light in the face of darkness, love in the face of hate. We weep and are in gratitude and always will carry in our hearts this Yom Hashoa Memorial "Sh'ma Koleinu" program. Your voices and their voices were most truly heard.
Todah rabah to Rabba Kaya and to all the Rimon community who brought this forth.
L'shalom and love,
Wendy Rabinowitz and Jeffrey Borak and family
My mother and I met with a Rabbi from RIMON at Berkshire Medical Center on Tuesday December 24th in the late afternoon. My father was dying and she talked with us for quite a while. My father passed away the next day (December 25th) and the conversation we had the day before was so very helpful to me I wanted to extend my gratitude.
I am glad I was able to be with my dad at the end. The talk you and I had the day before he passed made it possible for me to leave the hospital feeling peace. While devastated at the loss of my dad, I truly knew he was no longer in his body and I was able to leave feeling comforted by that. I am not so sure it would've been as easy had I not talked with you earlier. I wanted to let you know how thankful I am to you for that gift.
It has been a great blessing for me to have Rimon in my life. It's not merely the high quality of the classes, the opportunity to davven in the woods and the mind-expanding Epichorus concert that have made a difference. It's the sense of belonging to a community of seekers exploring Judaism as a wisdom tradition. Rimon and Rabbi Kaya have given me a home in Judaism in the Berkshires that that both comforts me and challenges me to grow in prayer and self-reflection.
I am amazed and inspired and more than a little surprised at the profound effect that Rimon is having on my spiritual life. Not having been raised in the Jewish faith tradition, I felt a bit timid when considering attending a class taught by Rabbi Kaya on Jewish mysticism. To my way of thinking, I didn’t know enough to participate in any meaningful way. However, from the moment I walked into my first Rimon class, I have been greeted with a warm and welcoming atmosphere of total inclusion. My involvement with Rimon has been absolutely life-changing, and is helping me to walk through decades of shame and fear-based messages and to transcend them. I would encourage any sincere seeker to take part in a Rimon program or event. I can assure you that you will find light and love and a wide open door.
I have often heard the spiritual adage: “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” This statement aptly sums up my introduction to Rabbi Kaya, a truly gifted teacher who approaches each student with an open heart and a spirit of compassion and loving-kindness. Rabbi Kaya takes it as her sacred responsibility to share with others the truth and beauty inherent in the ancient Jewish tradition and to ensure that these blessings are available and accessible to all people, meeting them wherever they are on their spiritual journey. Much more than an intellectual pursuit, these teachings have taken hold of my heart and soul and haven’t let go. As one who has long been searching for a more intimate connection to the Divine within myself and others, I am deeply grateful to have found Rabbi Kaya and Rimon.
Rimon Resource Center for Jewish Spirituality provides beautiful and meaningful gifts through each program offered. With heart and intention, Rimon continues to build a true spiritual community from the inside out, adding a sacred sweetness to life in the Berkshires and well beyond. Thank you, Rabbi Kaya and Rimon, for engaging in the courageous and important work of providing a spiritually healing balm for our wounded world.
In love and gratitude,
Mary Beth McDonough
I was not raised in the Jewish Tradition and wondered whether I would benefit from the classes on Jewish Mysticism. To my utter delight I found that Rabbi Kaya has a gifted way of teaching that creates an unfolding listening experience as an inner-sensory journey through the many levels of consciousness that comprise our humanity. While holding the space with grace she presents the sacred which transcends the information offered into beauty, light, heart-full rich nourishment. The only disappointment comes when the hour and a half is up!
After a recent class I was moved to write the following to Rabbi Kaya:
I could have continued for another hour listening
to the gift
of your teaching
which is beauty,
You hold the space with such Grace.
I have loved these classes!
With deep gratitude,