Saturday, January 14, 2006

Limmud Day Two/Three Riot Act roundup- the EXTENDO REMIX!

Jewschool gets a taste. But you, my loyal readers, get a likkel more. Live, from Shamirpower's Mac (which for some reason is not showing all the nifty text shortcuts), from the Greck family cradle, it's the Riot Act, Limmud style!After Mamma K regaled me with stories of Kutsher’s past lives, Knucklehead and I beat Shabbas up the hill (by a nose) to arrive for Kol Zimrah style Kabbalat Shabbat. BZ lead a great service, as always, with some help from unnamed musical friends joining the frey on various drums and a double bass. Continuing with the musical theme, Danny Maseng and Debbie Friedman led a rousing Shabbas morning service, although they had some choice (and justifiable) words for the confusing new Reform movement Siddur. A great mix of some tunes I knew and some tunes I didn’t know, they really got everyone involved in it, a great service.

In the HOLY SHIT I'M OLD department, the daughter of the Rabbi who lead my bar mitzvah studies (and who I babysat for when she was three or four) is HERE and is a sophomore at Brandeis.

I’ve been to several great workshops, but my personal favorite right now is Rabbi Jennie Rosenn’s Social Jusice and Spirituality- Tikkun HaOlam & Tikkun HaMiddot. A group of about 12 of us or so dove into the “dichotomy” of social justice and spirituality. Rabbi Rosenn’s eventual endpoint was that there should not be a division or boundary between doing social justice work and spirituality when it comes to Judaism. Starting with my favorite Maimonides (the highest of the 8 levels of tsedakah in Laws of Gifts to the Poor), we examined the reasoning behind the commandments to social justice, and the impact they have both on the person giving and the person in need, including Maimonides statement that it’s better to give 1 dinar 1000 times than 1000 dinars once because of the effect on the giver, and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korha’s “Anyone who averts their eyes from a plea for tzedakah is like someone who worships idols.” Other excerpts, including Deuteronomy 15:7-8, the Shulhan Aruch- the Laws of Tzedakah, and Midrash Tanhuma Chayyei Sarah and a fantastic discussion well shepparded by Rabbi Rosenn lead us to Avraham. Avraham’s kavanah is exemplefied by social justice action; he prays by arguing with G-d to save the lives of innocent. Rabbi Rosenn’s course fit an ideal for me: a few great sources, a few thoughtful people, and great discussion lead by someone who had an idea, and let us talk it out and come to a thoughtful conclusion.

One of the cool people at Rabbi Rosenn's workshop is Melissa Shiff (, who does some really intriguing visual arts, including a juxtaposition of regular people onto the Ten Commandments film shots, so Jews could actually visualize themselves leaving slavery. Stop by and tell her Ruby sentcha!

There are actually a lot of great musicians/artists at this conference, it's really been an awesome experience. Most of the workshops I've attended have been social justice based, which is hard considering I really want to do social justice work in the Jewish community, if only they'd have me. I think i'm going to try to do some more arts and cultiah stuff tomorrow. Knucklehead has, as always, been really supportive. Unlike the Institute, we've been hanging out a bit more, which has been really wonderful.

Also, unlike the Institute, they've had fleishig meals. Yeah meat!

Now, dear readers, rumor has it I can learn some new gambling games for Purim. The Boat will love them, considering that purim gambling games are usually played drunk, and I'm sure he'd love to have me betting money while I'm three whiskey bottles to the wind. No chance, Boat. But if you're reading this, do you want to do lunch on our way back to the city? We could even have you and the Godofpoool join us post rally.

Knucklehead and I got together with NF to hook up a Monday Morning MLK service, which I'm really excited about. even grabbed some new reeds on the way out of town for the occasion. Also looking forward to the open mic, where maybe I'll express my frustrations more, well, loudly.

Believe it, there’s a lot of Limmud left, hopefully Shamirpower will let me sneak in another post before we head back to the five boroughs. Shavua Tov!


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