A Crazy Weekend: Part I Friday night/TLS
our place was a zoo this weekend. we had ten different people sleep at our place with another several dozen passing through for a several hour lunch or just to say hi. people staying with us included RE, GE, shamir*power, lev, bean, LB, and a woman whose friend works with Rob.
It is such a wonderful statement that our house fills up not for sports events or concerts but for social justice happenings like the rally to end the genocide in Darfur. That said, there is only so high and mighty we can get about rallying for Darfur. I am glad we were there but it was an awful lot of fun to be feeling self-righteous about.
A quick (maybe not so quick) blow-by-blow
Tikkun Leil Shabbat was nuts. By a few minutes after 7 (the start time) the room was already half full. by the time Eli started kabbalat shabbat there were already 50 or 60 people in the Religious Action Center space we were graciously allowed to use. Eli picked up the tempo and got people moving and then slowed down a bit while increasing the intensity. he artfully modulated the energy and got the people in the room on the same page. the singing was beautiful and the energy was palpable. by 7:30 or so we were out of seats. by 7:45 we were over 100 and people were squeezing into corners, sitting on stairs, and leaning on whiteboards. rob and sarah took over to lead maariv and wove carlebach, havurahish, and reform tunes together to help everyone in the room connect to the music. they used avniel's yah ribon in a few different places to tie the various parts of service together. Some of the stuff really caught fire and pulled people in. Some of the tunes they chose lead to some thoughtful reflective moments.
After the repetition of the amidah it was time for a dvar tikkun, a talk on a social justice issue. We learned quite a bit about Darfur and what actions are ongoing and what we can do. Jacob led with the observation that the last time he spoke to this many people was at his bar mitzvah. The room cracked up. The teachings were moving. Sarah and Rob did a special misheberach with a kavanah connected to Darfur. I gave a spiel and pretty soon it was time to sing shalom aleichem and make kiddush. The most interesting part of the spiel was actually when Rob alluded to the transition within the DC Reform Chavurah and suggested that more news would be forthcoming. There is some neat planning going on behind the scenes. Rob will probably guest post here about his view of what's happening with the DC minyan scene.
Given that the room was busting at the seams it was great that K designed an effecient system to get everyone food. It was based around a system devised by Jo last summer and included the two table system. Lots of people came from out of town, Boston and NY were especially well represented. In light of the number of visitors it was a small miracle that everyone got more than enough to eat. Rob and I made about 20 pounds of chana masala. Malks pumped out lasagnas like was her job. It was amazing.
People stayed to schmooze, eat, and sing. At midnight there were still about 50 people around.
The energy was great. It was so good to make shabbat with these guys. I'm looking forward to to the next TLS on May 19. It seems like we really have some good momentum.