WHAT A DAY!!
I can honestly say- I am in the right place! Today started with prayer in community at 7:30 AM where upper-classmen came to join and support us. What an incredible group! This morning, the room was filled with song, thought and so much kavana (intention). I am thrilled to join this community. As you see….even some laughter over Torah.
After a big breakfast, we had a chance to actually study with some of our “older” peers. The discussion was led by Rabbi Peretz (asst. dean) on PRAYER – WHAT IS IT REALLY?
For example….here’s a little text-taste:
I searched for you every morning and evening,
And I spread out for you my hands and my face.
For you, I will sigh with a thirsty heart, and I seem to be
Like a poor man who asks for a portion at my door.
The heights of heaven are not able to contain You,
Yet you have a place within my mind!
Do I not hide in my heart for Your glorious name,
Yet my desire for you grows in strength until it passes through my mouth.
I, therefore, will praise the name of God,
As long as the breath of the living God is in my nostrils.
-Solomon ibn Gabriol (11th Century Spain)
The morning continued with some ‘down to business’ school-stuff. It’s good to be prepared!
THEN— the big HIGHLIGHT of the DAY!
Vegan lunch with the lovely & celebrated Rabbi Sharon Brous! This woman is making a HHUUGGGEEE positive impact on Conservative /Judaism. Noted more than once in magazines TOP RABBIS OF THE WORLD lists, Rabbi Brous has a progressive Spiritual Jewish community in Los Angeles…and it’s spreading like wildfire. Internship?!?!
You must learn about her! Click here for more.
The rest of the day was concluded with more discussion groups (called CHEVRUTA) – and then the [dreaded] Mishna placement exam. This is where you show a panel (and I do mean panel!) of Rabbis that you can (or can’t in my case!) open one of the holy books, read it in Hebrew/Aramaic and translate it (correctly!). The panel discusses and then let’s you know which level you’ll be at.
I did so great that they want me to stay an extra year at school to keep studying!
Hah….I only slightly kid–but in all seriousness, I’ll be doing the 6-year track instead of the over-loaded 5-year. To be honest, it was exactly what I was planning for – and I’m happy to be able to take my time through this journey.
So….another big day tomorrow. Looking forward to it!