I must talk about my amazing shabbos!
I honestly felt like I was back in Israel, minus the Jerusalem stone buildings and of course the kedushas haaretz blah bla blah. BUT…Hillel is amazing. Maybe not in other schools, but the Maryland Hillel is amazing. Friday night, theres four different minyanim-Reforn, Conservative, Orthodox Traditional, and Orthodox Carlebach. By far, the largest minyan was the carlebach. We sang EVERYTHING! Some of the tumes sounded a little, well, slow, sort of reminding me of gospel music, but I guess that’s pretty characteristic of Carlebach. Then we moved on to dinner, which was pretty good. It was PACKED. There were tables all over the dining room, the hallway, the conference room, and the rec room (which is where the Carlebach minyan davened.) You could barely move. I think that someone told me there were 400 people there. Imagine a mid-size house with 400 people in it.
Yeah, it was that packed.
If I didn’t mention it already, the singing was incredible. You could feel the intense ruach in that room. And it was cool because it wasn’t just frum, orthodox kids who were singing. It was everyone. I was sitting next to a boy who was theologically conservative. That’s cool. I mean, I am not theologically conservative, but I respect ppl who are conservative when its for theological reasons. I don’t think he’s a heretic *. He simply thinks that halacha can change with the times. And to some extent, it can. We believe that too. For example, the Jews at matan torah ate chicken and milk together. That was their halacha. The Jews of today do not eat milk and chicken together. That is our halacha. But it is based on the same Torah. And we serve the same G-d. And whats the difference between following divergent opinions when it comes to…how long to wait btw meat and milk, and if one is allowed to drive to shul on Shabbat if the alternative is to stay at home all day. There are actually some opinions which say that electricity is not kindling a flame, and therefore allowed on Shabbat. The vast majority of jews are not of that opinion, but if one is, he is not a kofer in my eyes *
We had lunch, which was just as beautiful as dinner (maybe 200 ppl as opposed to 400) and later in the day there was a womens discussion shiur. All the girls were really smart and had very profound things to say. I felt out of place, and embarrassed when the only time I spoke was when the woman giving the shiur quoted a Friends episode and asked if she was getting all the details right. (she wasn’t). There was supposed to be a shiur on Rav Kook before that, but I got the times mixed up and was upstairs learning in the Beit Midrash while that was going on. I got 2 perekim of nach yomi done, and that’s really good cuz I finally just sat down and figured out where exactly I was up too. So I missed the shiur, but atleast I was still learning, and I put into motion my future learning. Mitzvah gorreret mitzvah.
*I met a girl there who’s mom converted and decided to name her Kefirah. She didn’t know it meant heretic when she gave her the name. I wonder what would happen if this girls decided to become a theologically conservative jew and drive to shul on shabbat?