Facilitating
Torah Circles
>
"Let your house be a meeting place for people of wisdom;
sit in the dust of their feet; and drink in their words."
Pirkei Avot, 1:4

"Who is wise?
The one who learns from every person."
Pirkei Avot, 4:1

Preparation
  • A group of eight to 20 people, seated in a circle, with a table in the middle, is ideal.
  • Do whatever preparation works for your group to get into sacred circle, such as the traditional Torah blessing, singing, davenen, meditation.
  • Make sure everyone understands that their primary responsibility is to listen deeply to each other.
Three Circles
  • First circle - read the text. Go around the circle. Each person reads a little, until the parsha (or whatever text you are studying) is complete. No comments or discussion.
  • Second circle - talking stick. Place a sacred object, such as a shofar, on the table to use as a talking stick. Each person who wants to has an opportunity to pick up the talking stick, and give over whatever is in his/her mind or heart in response to the reading. There are no comments or cross talk; only the person with the talking stick may speak. When each person is done speaking, they replace the talking stick on the table.
  • Third circle - further discussion. When everyone who wants to has had the chance to speak with the talking stick, the group takes a little time for further comments or discussion. Normal discussion is fine.
Conclusion
  • Do a concluding ceremony that works for your group, such as a healing circle, conclusion of davenen, singing.