Sunday, August 1, 2010

shabbos koidesh

Hello World,

So I have this hebrew presentation I have to do tomorrow, so um yeah I will be writing a blog entry. haha. PROCRASTINATION.

I'm pretty sure I have said this before, but I'll say it again. I miss american Sundays/Saturday nights :-( ok done complaining.

Also a quick shout out to Adam and Jessie and everyone at their wedding tomorrow. Mazel mazel tov, I really wish I could be there to celebrate with everyone, but I am just too far away. Woo list college.

Ok so I had a really nice shabbat this week. For friday night I was invited, along with a few other classmates, to a dinner with people on this interfaith trip. The concept for the trip is really cool, it is a bunch of clergy members of the boston area coming together for about 10 days to tour Israel and see the religious sites of all the faiths and learn together (through the JCRC). Great idea right?! There is so much religious history and special sites in Jerusalem and around Israel that it really makes sense. I am definitely pro interfaith work, I think it's important to talk to people of different faiths and try to better understand each other.

At the dinner I was invited to I was sitting next to a woman who was a pastor (not a priest) or something (I'm sorry I'm bad with other religions titles, they still kind of confuse me). Then on the other side of me I was sitting next to the head reverend (?) of a HUGE church in lexington. He was telling me they have like 18 full time pastors on staff. CRAZY big. I can't imagine being a rabbi of a synagogue like that.

We had a lot of really nice conversations. It was also cool to be in such an open and respectful group. One thing I was thinking about during this dinner was how people of different religions can connect to their God or whatever you want to call the divine spirit/force (etc) in a similar way. We were singing a melody (without words) which was really beautiful and it was cool to see everyone connecting to it even in a spiritual way. Maybe we are all praying to different Gods or different perceptions of the same God (I'm getting a little more philosophical than I want to right now), but we can all have spiritual moments together, or find similar experiences meaningful and spiritual. For example there are a lot of people who connect to God through nature, or through song. I just thought this was interesting.

I also feel as a future clergy member I can relate to other clergy members, not just rabbis. I was speaking with the one reverend about why we chose our various paths and there was some overlap. We both had very positive religious experiences growing up and felt supported by our communities and even felt some kind of a calling to go into this field. I would love to be involved in more interfaith work as I go through rabbinical school. I also just find it fascinating to learn about other religions, which is why I was a religion major after all.

After the dinner ended I went over to another classmates house where they were having another shabbat dinner and I joined in a little song session. Great times just sitting in a circle singing lots of jewish songs from camp or youth group or whatever. Definitely brings back positive memories and is a great way to release some stress.

Shabbat during the day was nice also. I chilled as usual. Went to services, napped (amazing!!!) and studied some Talmud. The tractate (section of the Talmud) ta'anit I am studying with my chevruta, my study partner, is really cool. Today we read a little about child sacrafice (it's definitely not ok, so don't worry), about "remembering"/asking for rain and when you should say those things and something else that I'm forgetting at the moment. One thing we read which was really cool was how there is an opinion you shouldn't say a prayer asking/remembering the dew because it says in the bible that God is "like the dew" and since God is always present that means the dew is always present so we don't need to worry about it coming. I think this was on page 4b or 5a).

There was also another funny thing we stumbled on. So as you may or may not know the Talmud is full of arguments between different Rabbis. So we were reading about some rabbis arguing and one was disagreeing and instead of just saying that the other rabbi was wrong he insults him and says something like "you are like a bitter thing that hurts my teeth and like smoke before my eyes" haha harsh. I just think it's funny when they include stuff like this because it almost gives you a little glimpse into the argument and the fact that these rabbis would sometimes take jabs at each other.

So to end shabbat there is this service called havdallah, which means separation because you are separating the holy (shabbat) from the mundane (the week). Every week the majority of our class gathers together to do havdallah. It is always a great end to shabbat and a nice way to ease back into the week. There is lots of singing and positive energy. Then usually a bunch of us end up going to ben yehuda to get food or hang out a little. I got falafel yummmmmm.

Ok well I should stop procrastinating now. Shavua tov! Have a good week everyone, or if you are in america enjoy the rest of your weekend! I am super jealous :-)


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