Temporal Dynamics of Felt Security in Jewish Ritual and Experience
November 12, 2022 - November 11, 2025
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Director: Mario MikulincerInstitution: Reichman University
Co-Director: Aaron CherniakInstitution: Reichman University
Although a number of correlational studies have examined the relationship between religion, spirituality, and flourishing, few studies have examined how flourishing relates, in real time and in everyday situations, to specific aspects of religion and spirituality. This project directed by Mario Mikulincer and Aaron David Cherniak at Reichman University aims to examine the impact of Jewish practice of Shabbat and personal prayers (Hitbodedut) on flourishing-related outcomes in real time . To do so, the researchers will use a form of intensive longitudinal methods — sometimes known as experience sampling methods, or ESM. These methods involve collecting many sequential measurements from individuals of their experiences over a period in naturalistic settings.
The project will begin with interviews and workshops with practitioners, including clergy, religious educators, rabbinic chaplains, and rabbinic students) to gather input and insights about the nature and experience of these practices in a range of Jewish contexts. This will ensure the quality and nuances of these practices are adequately reflected in the project. In-depth qualitative data from expert practitioners will inform more specific research questions, hypotheses, design, and implementation of field experiments, including choice of measures. Field experiments will seek to capture the trajectories and interactive dynamics of spirituality and flourishing in Jewish rituals and everyday life experiences, including antecedents, processes, and outcomes. Findings will provide practitioners with evidence-based insights to optimize their religious practices and increase their flourishing, including personalized reports based on their data. Though this project focuses on Shabbat and Hitbodedut, our findings will have implications for all spiritual systems whose practitioners sanctify time or internalize feelings of security with a supernatural agent (e.g., God, universe).
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