I’m in love with a gal named K. We met at CI, and started a refreshing conversation that felt light and joyous and open-ended. She is confident and poised and asking great questions about being alone, joining community, finding her way.
We grabbed coffee this week and I somehow felt I was the one who got more out of it than she did. From divorce and parenting to disability and sororities, our conversation meandered through college life. And then she said, “I never used to GO to Shabbat.”
Go? Go where?
I’m familiar with this terminology and have been for my entire professional life. And yet it throws me off every time.
Adena’s Jewish Theory, The Charge of my Work: Every Jew is born, and sitting in the delivery room is a box, the BEST gift you’ll ever be given. And yet, some never open the box. Others only open the box a few years later, pulling out unappealing pieces of this multi-faceted gift (read lame Hebrew School classes or boring High Holiday services). The present sits unopened, untapped. Millions of dollars of diamonds, none of which ever get to shine in the light. My job is to help students open their own boxes, examine the contents, find the pieces that feel relevant so they can use the contents of their boxes for the rest of their lives.
In my own box is Shabbat. It’s not somewhere to GO, it’s a feeling to have. It’s the end of a busy week, the slow down and checking out of work, the checking in to family and my soul.
In K’s box? Tzedakah and the gift of Tashlich – the beautiful chance to cleanse yourself and start again. The blessings of family and generations – recipes passed from Grandma to Mom to K. The charge to help others, as we were once strangers in a strange land.
What’s in your box? And if you haven’t opened it lately, how can I help?