March 8, 2018

Adding Mindfulness, Meditation and a Dash of Purple to Tefillah

Noa Russo ‘20

A young Rabbi Molly Karp would laugh to hear that after her days at a strict orthodox day school, she would grow up to become a Rabbinics teacher. Being driven away from Judaism at a young age due to her strict school, Rabbi Karp aims for her meditation Tefillah program to give students a positive outlook on Tefillah and Jewish ritual.
As a child, Rabbi Karp felt more connected to Judaism in unconventional ways. She felt spirituality and G-d's presence through objects in nature and was first introduced to yoga and meditation at her summer camp.
“I began to be aware of the world of spirit in ways that had nothing to do with Judaism, yet helped me feel the presence of a higher power,” she said.
Rabbi Karp embarked on her career as a Rabbinics teacher in college. She spent her freshman year at SUNY Purchase, spent a semester at the University of Haifa, then completed her college education at Binghamton University, where she majored in Rabbinics. Since her first Hebrew school teaching job in college, she has worked in Jewish education.  
Rabbi Karp has also been trained in Jewish mindfulness practice and Jewish mindfulness work with teenagers.
Tefillah through meditation has transformed how she views prayers.
“I found that not only did I feel more alive, aware and centered but that prayer, meditation, study and Jewish music became and continue to be primary parts of my spiritual seeking and self-expression.”
Years of being forced to daven in day school ruined traditional Jewish worship for Rabbi Karp, which is why she was inspired to bring meditation Tefillah to Golda Och Academy.
Because she was aware of all of the stresses that come along with high school, Rabbi Karp knew how beneficial a meditation and mindfulness minyan would be to a high school student.
The process in creating and activating her successful minyan was very easy.  She described working with Mr. Metz as a great pleasure and is overjoyed for “being allowed to bring my particular slant to the school.”
Rabbi Karp hopes that her meditation period can teach students to center themselves, calm their minds and bodies, hear their inner voices and learn to be present in each moment.
“I hope that Minyan Neshima serves as an antidote to that, even if only a partial one.”
Rabbi Karp has learned overtime to listen to her instincts and reflect within. Her inner thoughts are shown through the colors she wears. Rabbi Karp feels particularly drawn to the color purple and she embraces that.
Purple, red and blue, the three colors Rabbi Karp generally wears, are also the colors of the mishkan. Purple is associated with cosmic awareness and consciousness, which define Karp.

Meditation Tefillah continues to develop and become more familiarized throughout GOA as students take advantage of this opportunity to find their own spiritual paths.

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