Con­gre­ga­tion Etz Chaim works with all peo­ple of Am Israel in sup­port­ing their health, spir­i­tual evo­lu­tion, con­nec­tion with HaShem, and Enlightenment.

Con­gre­ga­tion Etz Chaim’s Offerings

Weekly Shab­ba­ton


Kab­balat Shab­bat Cel­e­bra­tion — Fri­day Evenings

Our Kab­balat Shab­bat cel­e­bra­tion starts our weekly shab­ba­ton. Shab­bat is a mys­ti­cal, spir­i­tu­ally acti­vat­ing cer­e­mony cel­e­bra­tion. It cre­ates a quiet mind by observ­ing the 39 avodot, which helps us move beyond men­tal clut­ter to peace­fully receive HaShem. As part of that we dance to greet the enhanced power of the Shekhina energy (Sacred Fem­i­nine) on the planet and in all of cre­ation. The Shab­bat cer­e­mony is accom­pa­nied by mean­ing­ful rit­ual, spir­i­tual teach­ings and sto­ries, song, dance, and med­i­ta­tion. The cer­e­mony is led by Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD and his wife, the Reb­bet­zen Shanti Golds Cousens.

Smicha M’Shefa (Haniha) Med­i­ta­tion – Fri­day Evenings at Shab­bat Ceremony

Smicha m’Shefa (Haniha) is also known as a pro­found ini­ti­a­tion bless­ing into the “decent of grace” and is a rare oppor­tu­nity to awaken the Shekhi­nah energy. The Shekhi­nah is the inher­ent spir­i­tu­al­iz­ing force within each of us that often lies dor­mant until it is awak­ened. Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD has been instructed and empow­ered by his spir­i­tual teach­ers to be a vehi­cle for this poten­tially life-changing ini­ti­a­tion and trans­mis­sion of divine energy. In the Torah lin­eage, it is part of the Great Torah Way. Moshe gave smicha m’shefa to Yehoshua in Devarim 34:9, “And Yehoshua ben Nun was full of the ruach chochmah; for Moshe had laid his hands upon him; and the Bnei Yis­roel were heed­ful unto him, and did as Hashem com­manded Moshe.”

Sefer Torah Read­ing & Par­sha Dis­cus­sion – Sat­ur­days at 9:30 am

Facil­i­tated by Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD. The group begins with Torah read­ing in Hebrew with an authen­tic 300 year-old Sefer Torah and simul­ta­ne­ous Eng­lish trans­la­tion. An infor­mal dis­cus­sion of the par­sha with the rabbi fol­lows. The group con­cludes with the Shab­bat mus­saf prayer ser­vice and the morn­ing blessing.

Hav­dalah Med­i­ta­tion, Par­sha Dis­cus­sion, and Cer­e­mony

Sat­ur­day Evening at Sunset

Hav­dalah is the con­clu­sion of Shab­bat and build­ing the energy for the begin­ning of the next week. It is a way of set­ting the inten­tion to live in awak­ened con­scious­ness through­out the com­ing week. The pro­gram begins with group med­i­ta­tion fol­lowed by an enlight­ened inter­pre­ta­tion of the Torah par­sha of the week given by Rabbi Gabriel Cousens, MD. The pro­gram con­cludes with a Hav­dalah cer­e­mony and per­sonal bless­ing from the rabbi to con­clude Shab­bat and begin the week. Peo­ple from over 114 coun­tries have par­tic­i­pated in the Con­gre­ga­tion Etz Chaim’s shabbaton.

Yom Tov & High Holidays

Etz Chaim Syn­a­gogue for­mally observes all the fes­ti­vals and high hol­i­days, includ­ing Pesach, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kip­pur, Sukkot, and Tu B’Shevat. We hold these spe­cial times as win­dows to assim­i­late Divine shefa for tikkun ha’nefesh and tikkun ha’olam. All fes­ti­val meals are kosher, organic, live-food, and vegan, pre­pared with love by the Tree of Life Café. There is no charge even for the meals. Dona­tions for these are hap­pily accepted, but are absolutely not required or even requested.