Saturday, February 04, 2006

Shabbat Report

This past Friday night, Hillel put on Conservative and Reform services, followed by a Sephardic-style dinner. According to fourth-year student Eli Shirayanagi, the "Moroccan food was very good. There was baklava for dessert; I had the chocolaty-nutty baklava and it was tasty. There were chicken kababs, Moroccan rice, good food! There were good people to talk to, it was fun." According to Eli's estimate, between 40-45 people came by throughout the evening.

Friday night saw 55-60 students at the Chabad Student Center, and the opening of a new "VIP lounge". Shlomie Chein gave an amazing rendition of recent events in the Torah (which I wish I could record as an MP3 and post on here, but alas, SHOMER SHABBOS!). Students were so satisfied from Devorah Leah's delicious food that after the challah, dips, salads, soup, chicken, asparagus, and kugels, people barely had room left for dessert.

A number of students stayed late into the evening for a continuation of January 26's Marijuana discussion. Shlomie definitely took a different perspective than any of the panelists, focusing more on getting high from a Chassidic perspective, questioning people's motives for smoking pot, and questioning why someone should need any influence from a substance to bring them closer to G-d. It's a valid argument, and I think Mark Ingel touched on it briefly when he mentioned that he thinks by smoking pot, people are trying to experience a closeness to G-d/spirituality/Oneness that they don't easily experience when sober. And I thought, W.W.M.D. (What Would Matisyahu Do?). Like my homeboy Matis said, "you' trying to stay high, but you' bound to stay low/you want G-d but you can't deflate your ego." Thanks Matis, I'll take that into consideration. Needless to say, after the discussion (when I got home) I felt a little sheepish to ask if anyone wanted a beer while we hung out.

Anyway, I had the pleasure once again of having a meal at the girls' house in the Rosewood Village. About fifteen people were there, including two guests from Berkeley, Levi Welton (son of Rabbi Ben-Tzion Welton, Supervision Coordinator of Vaad HaKashrus of Northern California) and his friend Shlomo. It's so beautiful to see a gathering of the Tribe initiated by students to celebrate Shabbat. Yasher koach girls.

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