Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Limmud postmorte: the extended RIOT ACT mix!

As Sashinka noted, she, along with Shamirpower, BZ and myself, were trapped in a snowbound Borschtbelt paradise without inter-net all of Sunday, and of course today was the, ahem, Exodus from Middletown back to wherever you came from (quite possibly the UWS or London).

The conference was (over?)loaded with great courses and activities, so a few brief highlights from the last 48 hours of the conference.

My favorite Sunday session was, without question, Labor of Love: An introspective musical journey through our liturgy with Danny Maseng. Now, still being somewhat new to all this, I cheerfully admit I actually had not heard of Danny before the conference. With a mother who teaches Sunday school to second graders, it’s pretty hard to miss the greatness of Debbie Friedman, but I was told he’s wonderful, don’t worry, Ruby, you’ll love him. Went to Shabbas morning musical services, and not only did he bring wonderful music to the morning, every now and then he’d say something really short and insightful. Wanted to do his Sunday session, but that was before staying up till 3 something jamming with BZ, Avi Fox-Rosen (who also had a cool workshop on singing), Bara Sapir (who sang over the rainbow like she wrote it), and a few of our friends who gave us the gift of Limmud from across the pond. I got up for an am session, and I was tired. I decided I would stop by, and then split a little bit into it, to say hi to Knucklehead or catch a nap. Once Danny started, I couldn’t leave. He gave us a great look into his inner musical workings, as well as some incredible nuggets of knowledge about Lecha Dodi, the passage between Adonai Elohaychem Emes and Mi Chamocha, and the prayer immediately following the Borechu, noting that the passage from Isaiah it was adapted from called G-d the creator of both Good and Evil, and rhuminated on why the Rabbis wouldn’t want that talked about in the prayer. Really thought provoking stuff. Thanks, Danny.

Also had a great time listening to Basya Schechter as part of the closing program. Homegirl’s got some serious music in her, in case you weren’t sure.

So, Knucklehead and I were up until 4, along with BZ and a few other new friends, including TheLastTrumpet (did you get that from one of my favorite Lyrics Born/Lateef jams?) jamming the night away. Except we were also leading a Martin Luther King service with NF at 8am. I don’t know how we got up, but we made it and it was a lot of fun. Unfortuntely, the net being down made my drosh a lot shorter, as I wanted to actually quote Dr. King’s statement of “one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws” in “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and compare it to Shifra and Puah’s act of civil disobedience. We picked out some great tunes, some of which I think Shamirpower recorded.

All in all, a great time. Props to the staff and board of Limmud NY who made it all happen. One thing Knucklehead pointed out to me, and I can definitely see her point, is that 75 minutes just scratches the surface of these serious topics. Maybe, for next year, there could be a few courses that are multiple days? Second, it's the artist in me, but I'd love to see more in the creative world next time round. A time and space for a jam session or three, and some way to stagger the creative programming so they're not constantly up against one another. Admittedly, the Rubester was disappointed with what went down in the open mic, was hoping to see some of the people at the conference do their thing, but in the end it was me, TheLastTrumpet doing some tasty covers, and the 944s, two older gentlemen singing a few songs.

Also, while I love the Five Boroughs, i was reminded of the line from Rounders, “You know, if we wanted to take each other’s rolls, we could have just stayed home.” How can we spread word to other communities out there to make this even better next year?

Yasher Koach to all who made it happen this weekend. Now, sleeping in a smaller bed, but with heat on in the room.


Anonymous TheLastTrumpet said...

There's a movement of unity 'cross the globe.

Good call.

7:35 AM  

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