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Shabbat Challenges and Opportunities

11/28/2017 10:05:47 PM


Shabbat, paired with the onset of winter, presents an interesting combination of opportunities and challenges for a progressive, living-in-two-civilizations community like ours. The pull to observe communally may weaken, whether your preference is to hunker down to stay in and cozy, or to take off to the hills and rinks at every opportunity.

A few weeks ago, a simple challenge created an awesome opportunity. Once a year, we need to relocate our Shabbat morning programs to another building, as our host community takes over the entire building for their annual Fall Fair. So we held our own “Shabbat Fall Fair” at the JCC, with a potpourri not of offerings for re-sale but of activities, bracketed by short and lively camp-style shirah/song for our tefilah/prayers.

The morning was wildly successful, as young and old jumped in to participate in sampling creative, intellectual, or contemplative activities, all led by members. The interest, enthusiasm, and numerous sparks of connection and discovery were sweet - and, I believe - sacred.

So throughout the winter of 2018/5778, we’ll be holding periodic “mini-fairs” – one winter/Exodus- themed, one just prior to Passover, and a third in the Spring. This is in keeping with the alternative services we’ve been offering over the past year and a half – shabbats for study, for contemplation, for yoga – but with at least two options for each Shabbat Fair.

There were so many “aha” moments at our Shabbat Fall Fair. These flashes of inspiration are what I love to nurture, and here at OrH we have so many talented, inspired, thoughtful and generous members who are eager to share their passions. This is indeed our “Torah,” our treasury of knowledge and lore. Check out our Shabbat Winter Fair, coming the first Shabbat in January, for an intellectual challenge, and a spiritual opportunity.

- Rabbi Liz

Wed, July 18 2018 6 Av 5778