Le’hitatef: A Pedagogy of Enveloping
January 2023

Le’hitatef: A Pedagogy of Enveloping

Dr. Andrea Lieber
Professor of Religion & Judaic Studies
Dickinson College
Le’hitatef- an invitation to approach Jewish learning as an embodied experience.

Le’hitatef is an invitation to approach Jewish learning as an embodied experience. While traditional learning environments have been dominated by bodies that are male, or bodies that look or perform a certain way, Le’hitatef welcomes diverse bodies into Jewish educational spaces by cultivating an atmosphere of self-love in a ritual practice of “enveloping.”
Le’hitatef draws on Birkhot Ha’Shachar—the morning blessings—as a tool for cultivating mindful embodiment. Adapting the ritual gesture of le’hitatef— a self-embrace in the tallit—le’hitatef is a symbolic practice inviting learners to arrive in wholeness, self-compassion, and self-love.

We are emerging from a time of intense disembodiment, as so much of our learning and communal experiences shifted to online platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic. This resource presents a strategy to center the mind-body connection, and to heal the disjuncture of brain and body associated with both online life and more classical forms of Jewish learning.

Andrea is a Professor of Religion at Dickinson College, where she holds the Sophia Ava Asbell Chair in Judaic Studies. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University and her BA from Vassar College. She is the author of The Essential Guide to Jewish Prayer and Practices (Alpha Books/Penguin 2012). Her scholarly essays have appeared in The Jewish Quarterly Review, The Journal of Religion, College English, and many edited anthologies. Her current research focuses on the intersection of gender, technology, and religion. Andrea's interest in Jewish studies extends beyond higher education. She is on the faculty of The Soul Center, a "Jewish Spiritual Startup" in Baltimore, MD. She also serves as an educational director at Camp Ramah in the Poconos and was a member of the 2nd Senior Educators Cohort of M², an initiative of the Institute for Experiential Jewish Education.


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