Sunday, February 19, 2006

Shabbat Parshat Yitro @ Pearl Street in SC

Guest posting by Frum Mommy.

This past Shabbat, Jewish Study Network team members Rabbi Yisroel and Sandy Gordon, held the monthly S. Cruz Shabbaton at 116 Pearl St., with special guests Rabbi Yakov Grossman and his wife Rashi (her real name, believe it or not) of Queens, New York. The shabbaton was sponsored by the Shiff family and Richard Becker.

Friday evening began with mincha services, led by Ted Shiff, followed by a beautiful Kabballat Shabbat and maariv service, led by Rabbi Yisroel Gordon. Before barchu, Rabbi Gordon gave an interesting drash about the week's parsha, tying in the the commandment to keep Shabbat with events surrounding the shabbaton itself. He revealed that the shabbaton was almost cancelled a few short hours before it even started, as the house rented for the shabbaton had been booked for the wrong days! But as usual, Hashem makes things work out, and they were able to get the house at the very last minute.

Following services, everyone moved to the dining room to enjoy a delicious meal made by Rebbitzen Gordon, Rebbitzen Benzaquen of the JSN, and Ben Rubin. The room was filled with about 45 people ready to eat and learn together. The food was so delicious, that my daughter turned to me in the middle of the meal and said, "The food good". Don't worry, my daughter is not a caveman, but only 21 months old. So, let me give you the low-down on the chow. We ate challah rolls with hummus, gefilte fish, red pepper salad, saffron rice, chicken, kugel and salad. During the dinner we had the honor of sitting with one time Uncle Moishey Mitzvah Man, Rabbi Shmuel Braun. Rabbi Braun kept us entertained his good sense of humor. He also happened to lead the zmirot throughout the night. After some great chocolate mousse, everyone enjoyed more singing and shmoozing.

Shacherit services began at 9:30am, led first by Daniel Libicki and later by Rabbi Braun. Daniel Libicki read the Torah portion, which this week included the Ten Commandments. The Torah reading was followed by mussaf, led by Rabbi Gordon. Lunch was equally as delicious and full of singing as dinner, except that we now had an amazing choice of vegetarian and VERY yummy meat cholent.

After lunch Rabbi Grossman gave a shiur about competing in Jewish law, going from what the Gammora has to say on the issue, down through the commentaries and the Shulchan Auruch, to what modern authorities have ruled. The shiur really grabbed my attention because not only did we look at an issue such as finding a donut on the street, but also more complicated and modern matters, like copyright of books and music. Rabbi Grossman mentioned many personal events that had happened to him, in which a question of competition came up, and where he had to look to traditional sources to find a solution. In the end, we see that the halacha is not just for our own personal good, but that everything works out for the best. Gam zu le tova, right? The learning was made extra sweet by the various kinds of cake served, ensuring that we had apple energy to keep up with the intense pace of Talmud learning.

Mincha was lead by Rabbi Braun, with Torah reading by Daniel Libicki, and was followed by a wonderful buffet with bagels, white fish salad, hummus, baba ganush, fruit, and other goodies. We ate our third meal with great joy, resuming the shmoozing and singing that had been an on-going part of the shabbaton. Maariv was led by Ted Shiff, and Rabbi Gordon did havdalah, helping us bid farewell to Shabbat with the proper kavanah.

I have to say that this Shabbat was very thought provoking. In any case, the learning was great! I was not able to take some pictures until later, so here you see a group of satisfied participants. Don't ask me why Adam Savel is so happy. He gets like this every time he goes to a JSN event. The next picture is of the Gordon children. Special thanks to them for keeping my daughter laughing and entertained. You can see her all the way to the left hiding by Rabbi Gordon.

Keep your calendar reserved for the next JSN Shabbaton the weekend of March 10th. If you aren't able to attend, check one of Rabbi Gordon's classes held weekly in S. Cruz or keep a look out for the big JSN Shabbatons!

Special thanks to the Shiff family and Richard Becker for sponsoring this great event, and special thanks to Daniel Libicki for coming all the way to S. Cruz with his family just to grace us with his wonderful torah reading.


Blogger G-D SQUAD said...

looks like you guys had an excellent time! great write-up! i love how the Jewish life in s.c. is blossoming and becoming stronger. yasher koach everyone involved!

Tue Feb 21, 02:18:00 AM 2006  
Anonymous Frum Mommy said...

Yes, we had a great time! I highly recommend any of the JSN events because the learning is always excellent. Frum Baby and I can't wait for the next one. By the way, thank you to the Bochur Pad for having us over for Shabbat. Frum Baby really enjoyed exploring the place. I also forgot to thank Four Gates Winnery for providing the delicious wine throughout Shabbos.

Tue Feb 21, 09:07:00 AM 2006  

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