Gabriel envisioned and manifested "The Hebrew Holyday Gatherings" for the Renewal & Re-sacralization of Israel.
Hebrew Holiday Gatherings
pioneered spiritual Israeli terrain. It weaved "wholistically": academia, alternative spiritual seekers, American Jewish Renewal, professionals, and artists. It empowered secular Israelis and the spiritually discontent religious, to teach, learn and share together the Jewish Holydays.
Eight different Jewish holydays for 150 adults and 30 children per retreat - a crossection of Israelis - including secular Israelis, who for the first time experienced, in a safe environment set in Nature, a real taste of Jewish Creative Spirituality, open to the Arts, deep ecology and other Sacred Wisdom paths. About 1000 participants of all ages took part in these retreats.
Tikun Tubishvat - (Tu Bishvat) Kibbutz Beit Oren, Jan. 1997
Yichud Purim - (Purim) Neveh Shalom-Wahat El Salaam, Mar. 1997
Taanug Tubeav - (Tu b'Av) Kibbutz Tuval, Aug. 1997
Yah Bishvat - (Tu Bishvat) Kibbutz Lotan, Jan. 1998
Simchatyah - (Sukkot) Kfar Hanokdim, Oct. 1998
Hagadyah - (Pesach) Kfar Hanokdim, Apr. 1999
Niflayah - (Chanukah) Metsikei Dragot, Dec. 1999
Lehavayah - (Lag baomer) Kibbutz Leavot Havivah, May 2001
The Gatherings integrated: Living Midrash, The Arts, Deep Ecumenism, Embodied Ecology, Yoga, Tai Chi, Meditation, Vegetarian Meals and Healing. Sufism (taught by Palestinian & Turkish Sheiks) and Kabbalah (Hebrew Mystical Wisdom) were specially emphasized.
Celebrated in nature throughout Israel, these Gatherings, reconnected to the sacred rhythms of the Hebrew calendar with an indigenous and contemporary Middle Eastern approach.
Among our Teachers from abroad:
Rabbis: Arthur Green, Roly Matalon, Shefa Gold, Arthur Waskow, Shawn Zevitt, Andrea Cohen Kiener, Gershon Winkler (USA)
Sufis: Guide Mehmet Selim Ozic (Turkey), Sheik Abu Salech El Refai (Palestine)
Native American: David Carson (Choktaw - Medicine Cards), Kam Nightchase Lau (Lakota-Sundance Chief)
France: Prof. Dr. Paul Fenton (Sorbonne)
Among the Teachers from Israel:
Dr Melila Helner - Eshed (Hartman - Hebrew University), Ari Elon, Amichai Lau-Lavie, members of the Sheva Band, Miri Alon and Rabbi Ohad Ezrahi.
Gatherings - Reports from participants
"The fusion between the renewal approach to Judaism with the local Hebrew culture, the Israeli social reality, and the genuine search for a healing spirituality in our own language, in contact with the nature and land of our roots worked as magic." - Tubishvat Gathering 1997 - Esteban Gottfried, Israeli filmaker theater director and writer.
"Over this past TuBishvat, in the Hills of the Carmel in Israel, a most remarkable event took place. One hundred and fifty Israelis rediscovered the richness of Judaism as a spiritual path... emphasis on the experiential & celebratory, whether it was text study, prayer or dance, with the intention to heal the imbalances & painful polarities in the expression & development of one's Jewish spiritual identity in Israel, and with the recognition that Israeli soil is ripe today for intense Jewish Spiritual expression, outside of the realm of the orthodox." - Tubishvat Gathering 1997 - Andy Gold, Founder & director of Rose Mountain Retreat Center, New Mexico.
"We believe that this work is bringing to birth a real, indigenous, Israeli and Jewish Renewal community - Purim Gathering '98- Rabbi Arthur Waskow & Rabbi Phyllis Berman, pathfinder & leaders of Jewish Renewal, USA
This pioneering work has prepared fertile ground, seeded, empowered and infused new life into individuals, families and Jewish renewal communities in Israel, like Kibbutz Lotan, Hamakom & Beit Tefilah Israeli .
These gatherings have fostered the dawning of a renewed spiritual & aboriginal Jewish voice in Israel through pluralistic, non-coercive, creative and transformative healing experiences rooted in our ancestral Wisdom.