I was asked a few days ago by a rabbi “What is your Hallel practice?”
A little background. ‘Hallel” literally means “praise” but generally refers to spiritual practices during the Jewish Sabbath, when work of all types is prohibited.
For the past week I’ve been off the grid at a retreat near Woodstock, New York with a group of rabbis from across the Jewish spectrum. They describe me as the group’s “artist in residence”, though really I simply sketchnote their work and parts of Torah (the Jewish sacred text). We were preparing food and other things leading up to the start of the Sabbath on Friday night and this particular rabbi was working to find out more about the spiritual practices of each attendee.
I wasn’t sure how to answer the question and said as much. He replied “Do you study, pray, meditate, kayak (we were on a lake), sketchnote,...? He wasn’t to find out. We left New York a few days early to be home in Florida ahead of Hurricane Dorian.
Now the Sabbath is over and I am sitting in the comfort of my home thinking about the question. My answer is that my spiritual practice is to sketchnote during the Sabbath. It’s part study, part meditation, and gives me something of greater meaning to come back to at a later date.
How many of us in the sketchnote community work our craft for the sheer enjoyment, as a meditative practice, to study and learn?
Read Rabbi Rachel Barenblat’s post about the week, “A Week of Bulding with Bayit”.