Saturday, January 28, 2006

Shabbat Report

This past Friday night, over 80 UCSC students were involved in Shabbat celebration with Hillel and Chabad. According to student Scott Fox, there were between 20-25 people at Hillel Friday night, and it was a shmoozing evening, with lively conversation. There were two services, one, more traditional, led by Hillel Director Shalom Bochner, and the other, more Reform/alternative, led by Scott and a friend. Reflecting on the evening, Scott said, "It was a quiet Shabbat, normally not that quiet."

Right around the block at the Chabad House, over 60 people were packed in for an extra special feature besides the usual words of wisdom from Shlomie and Devorah Leah's excellent kosher cuisine: Rabbi Yosef Langer, Rabbi to the Stars, friend of Rock icons like Bob Dylan, Rock promoter Bill Graham, and Jane's Addiction front man Perry Ferrel, was in town as a guest. Among the numerous amazing stories he told of his star-studded past, he told one personal story that especially stood out.

It was at Woodstock '99, and Rabbi Langer had hooked his crew up to get a mitzva trailer backstage in order to spread a little Jewish energy among the performers. One evening, hip-hopper Wyclef Jean (daaaaang, remember The Carnival?) came to receive a blessing from the Rabbi. The two of them were chilling for a while, having l'chaims, and Wyclef asked if his crew could come over (meaning the family and friends). The Rabbi said sure, and soon the trailer was filled with Wyclef's crew and others, talking, laughing, chatting. Wyclef's mother and sister sang Amazing Grace, everyone was having a great time.

Then, someone was overheard saying 'you gotta call a spade a spade,' which has explicit racist connotations (i.e. "blacker than the ace of spades," which means someone basically dropped the "N-bomb" in a room full of Wyclef Jean's family and friends). Needless to say, the room became so silent you could hear a pin drop. Wyclef spoke first. "Thas right y'all, you heard? You gotta call a spade a spade." The tension was so thick you could cut it with a challah knife. Rabbi Langer leaned over and looped his arm with Wyclef's and announced, "and you gotta call a heart a heart!" After that, everything calmed down and the tension in the room went back to normal. Eventually, Wyclef and Rabbi Langer blessed each other, and B"H everything turned out ok. Seriously a beautiful story with a valuable lesson.

Also, (and you heard it here first) Rabbi Langer will be hosting the biggest Purim event in Northern Cali called 'Purimpalooza,' featuring Matisyahu, Perry Ferrel, a freestyle rap competition, costume competition, and much, much more. Check it out here, and check back at the JewniProj as the date approaches for more info on rideshares etc. And, if you haven't already signed up for Jewlicious at the Beach v2.0, they just announced that Matisyahu and his wife and son will be spending Shabbos there as well. Seriously, don't come crying to me after Presidents' Day weekend and tell me I didn't tell you how cool it was going to be.

Also I want to mention that towards the end of this past Shabbos, I had the pleasure of attending a beautiful traditional Third Meal that was hosted at the house of a few UCSC students (and I hope they won't mind if I refer to them as my good friends). The meal was attended by about 13 people, some active in various groups and orgs such as Leviathan, Chabad, Hillel, SCIAC, Students for Peace in the Middle East, and the JewniProj. Yeah, grassroots Judaism, it's like that. It was a beautiful Shabbat, indeed.


Blogger Fedora Black said...

Ahh, yes.

When you get the mix just right, those SC shabboses can be ohhh so special...

Sun Jan 29, 10:21:00 PM 2006  

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