Orientation Day 3: Becoming Ke’hila (Community)

Wow, day 3 of orientation and so much has happened already.  Together, our class has prayed, discussed, studied, shared in meals, laughed, cried…. and we have now bonded into a small family. The safety in our group and in the school is tremendous.  That we have a place to poor our hearts so freely … that we have a place to grow so deeply…. that we have a place to learn so richly …. we are blessed and each one of us knows that.

Today we were blessed to have a class with Rabbi Artson, our dean.  This man’s personal Torah is always insightful – as it seems he can often see what is not there….yet he sees exactly every detail that is.

Before we began, we were asked to write for a few minutes on one particular thought:

What does God want from me?

The text from Deuteronomy that he presented, God is *asking* us if we’d only do these things:

>> To Revere Your Lord our God
>> To walk in the paths of  Hashem
>> To Love Hashem
>> To serve Hashem

As well as – “circumcise our hearts” – meaning to remove any layers in the way of what we truly feel.

After a moving and powerful session, we were then asked to write a reflection of the class, which lead me to writing this:


Overflowing with emotions,

Yet my heart is perfectly filled.

Swelling up inside,

The feelings can begin.

Awakening to the knowing….

Yet knowing not at all.

I am exactly where I need to be,

Humbling serving in awe.

As if we weren’t feeling the love enough, later tonight we were then invited to the house our school’s Spiritual Chaplain, Reb Mimi.  Reb Mimi was the first (and one of the only) orthodox women rabbis – and the last student of Reb Carlbach.  This woman has opened her home to us – her heart to us and has made it very clear that she is there 100% to support us through our journey.

The days are long and packed to the max – but  I must keep documenting.  Tomorrow is the last day of orientation, and it concludes with a semi-formal dinner hosted by the Board of Directors from our school. In just a few days my parents will come up from Scottsdale to join us in a all-Ziegler school Shabbaton (weekend-long Shabbat program).  This is truly a time to celebrate and rejoice!

I am so grateful for all of you sending in your support! I won’t be able to do this without you.   So,…obviously, there is more to come!

Lila Tov (Good night!)



2 responses to “Orientation Day 3: Becoming Ke’hila (Community)

  1. We live in amazing times, don’t we? I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading of your days : ) At the same time that you are there on your journey, I have been “studying” in my own way. As I prepare to wrap up my time here in AZ, I have been watching the “Life Class Series” that Oprah created. The archived videos from her last season with excellent speakers. While this is not all the “hugeness” of what you are doing and learning, your words are so familiar to how I feel after watching a video of one of the Life Classes and I know that I am “growing”. I would love to be learning in a community such as the one you find yourself now. Enjoy every minute. What I am trying to say is, to a lesser degree I completely understand how your heart can feel so full I am so very happy for you that you are on this journey.
    Sue Bass

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