Worship and Spiritual Living: A Vision for the Future | Congregation Beth Am

Worship and Spiritual Living: A Vision for the Future

Worship and Spiritual Living: A Vision for the Future

Authentic Jewish spiritual expression takes different forms. Whether one chooses to explore it through acts of transcendence, study, prayer, meditation, or relationships and good deeds, each alternative expression, practiced separately or with others, must be considered an authentic expression of Jewish commitment.   --Rabbi Rifat Sonsino, from Six Spiritual Paths (2002)

Jewish spiritual expression, in all its diversity, is at the heart of our life together at Beth Am. Our community exists to inspire and support a life of Jewish commitment, offering many paths through which Jews find and express a sense of higher purpose that guides their lives.

At Beth Am, we cultivate an open, humble way of thinking about the divine and seeking the sacred. We respect the diversity of our members’ beliefs, encourage questions, and honor both faith and doubt as authentic to the Jewish religious tradition. We strive to help all to learn and grow in their understanding of Jewish spiritual teaching and practice. Skeptics and seekers join with those who are strong in their faith to form an inclusive community in which together we work to improve ourselves and the world.

As Jews, our greatest spiritual treasure is Shabbat – the weekly practice of taking time to rest, renew and reconnect with what matters most.

We strive to create vibrant, welcoming, participatory worship services that help us to connect with a Power beyond the self, deepen our relationship with Jewish tradition, and experience the sense of peace, joy and renewal that Shabbat can bring. Our communal worship offers a respite from the tensions of everyday existence, drawing on the power of music, heartfelt prayer, shared celebration and silence.

Equally important are spiritual experiences that take place outside communal worship – outdoors, at home, and in private moments throughout the day. We offer opportunities for adults, teens and children to experience the beauty of nature, explore Jewish theology, and develop their inner lives through private prayer, meditation and contemplative practice. We provide support for, and education about, home-based Jewish spiritual practice for individuals and families. Striving for continual growth and self-improvement is central to Jewish spiritual expression. Therefore we offer guidance and opportunities for members to learn about and practice Mussar, the Jewish discipline of character development through the cultivation of middot (Jewish virtues).

In the broadest sense, we believe that individual and communal spiritual practice are mutually reinforcing. Both can foster a more powerful sense of the Divine Presence, a deeper appreciation of the blessings in our lives, and more generous, loving relationships with those around us.

Strengthened by participating in a vibrant worship community and by personal spiritual practice, we are able to give our best energies to fulfilling our congregational mission: We strive to live as a holy community whose study and practice of Judaism inspires and challenges us to “do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).

Congregation Beth Am
  • 26790 Arastradero Rd., Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
  • (650) 493-4661 Contact Us

We strive to live as a holy community whose study and practice of Judaism inspires and challenges us to "do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with our God" (Micah 6:8).