Tuesday, May 23, 2006

TLS Post-Merger Integration

TLS and The DC reform chavurah have merged to create a wonderful community experiemnting with a new model for pluralism. BZ covered the new initiative here.
This past shabbat the newly formed Tikkun Leil Shabbat Community had its first meeting. It was beautiful. about 70-75 people were there over the course of the evening. It was about the perfect size for the space the Religious Action Center graciously lets us use.
The 115 people we had (maybe more) at the last TLS was a very tight fit.
Anyways back to Friday...Kavitha Kasargod led K"Sh and Ethan Merlin led Maariv. Both were beautiful. Ethan used several new niggunim and some that were known but out of context, like a wedding niggun.
during kabbalat shabbat someone in front of me turned to the person next to her...she was behind ethan and jo who were singing two different harmony lines and accross the room from joe gindi who was beat boxing furiously. the woman said, wow its a little bit like davening in an a capella group. I am not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing. I am going to assume a good thing.
after davening eli gave a powerful intro to the first post-merger speakers. they were from the national capital immigration coalition. eli's talk related the principles of shmita and yovel (sabbatical and jubilee) to contemporary thinking. [eli, if you have some more specific notes, i'll happily post them] The speakers were very compelling. they spoke about the current immigration struggles and how we can support progressive immigrant justice legislation.
there were a few announcements including a wedding message from Ruby-K on behalf of Kol Zimrah. Among other things Ruby-K wished the happily married minyanim many children.

the food was plentiful and tasty, and before long we were finished with the meal. well, i thought we were. then jon made an announcement. he announced that it was my birthday and we did a shabbat candles not lit candle blowing out routine. cheesecake was enjoyed by all.

i led benching and included a harachaman about ending the occuptation. it received raucous support and led to some interesting and throughtful discussions later in the evening. namely with BGS. singing followed. people roled home. and pretty soon we were in mount pleasant.


At 5/23/2006 , Anonymous alan said...

happy birthday!

how do you say "end the occupation" in hebrew?

whens the next tls?

At 5/23/2006 , Blogger ZT said...

its an open question whether it is preferable to use a or b:
1) harachaman hu yiten sof lekibush bimherah v'yameinu
2)harachaman hu yiten sof lawkibush bimherah v'yameinu

the difference is whether we are discussing ending occupation or the occupation.

i'll write a bit more about that soon.

the next tls will be listed on tikkunleilshabbat.org soon (i assume).
i think it is four weeks from friday.

At 5/23/2006 , Anonymous rdl said...

zt - I was actually a little concerned that you added the kibush harachaman at first, knowing that as much as I love to do it at home, its different in a pluralistic public setting like TLS and some might be put off or feel uncomfortable because of it.

However, the beautiful thing about TLS is that each person leading a part of the service is only speaking for him or herself, not the entire community. For example, I may not agree with someone who chooses not to insert the emahot into the amidah repition, and I may even add it in myself, under my breath, but I do not think that that person is speaking for the community, just as neither were you.

Im glad it sparked dialogue too, I hadnt heard that. My only concern is that we may want to make it clearer to the community outside the steering committee that each leader makes the choice for themself and does not speak for TLS necessarily.

At 5/23/2006 , Anonymous alan said...

all leaders should wear a tallis with that disclaimer embroidered into it.

At 5/24/2006 , Blogger BZ said...

Yay for pluralism!

Happy birthday, and mazal tov to the newlyweds. May they be zoiche to build a bayis ne'eman b'yisroel.

At 5/24/2006 , Anonymous rebecca m said...

4 weeks= awesome, I'll be back in the greater DC area (after a year in J-m, which to my surprise got my into this stuff)

At 5/24/2006 , Blogger ZT said...

rdl said "I was actually a little concerned that you added the kibush harachaman at first, knowing that as much as I love to do it at home, its different in a pluralistic public setting like TLS and some might be put off or feel uncomfortable because of it."

this is an important question, how to handle the overt politics implicit in saying an out-loud grace after meals.
there was a multiplication of the nationalist harachamanim in the last century. Most likely in the last 60 years as Israel has come into being as a nation. Bkol Echad, the USY bencher, for instance, includes a harachaman for the soldiers in the Israeli military. An older harachaman discusses israel as resheit smichat geulateinu, the begining of our redemption. The grace after meals has long been ripe with messianic hope and dreams for the future. I dream that in the years to come occupation will be history and believe that if there is to be a messianic time, it will be our role to bring it. I am deeply hopeful that we will be able to move towards a world free from all sorts of occupations. the one foremost on my mind is the one ongoing in israel. it is deeply unjust and a blight on the moral record of our people. if i am going to talk about an age to come defined by peace, justice, and tranquility, i can hardly imagine occupation being a part of that. thus the inclusion. i hope that no one is offended by my call for an end to occupation. i have a hard time imagining who would argue for occupation in the abstract or what the argument would look like.
so, i guess that's my $0.02.

At 5/24/2006 , Blogger BZ said...

I like to splice together two of the harachamans from B'kol Echad to yield "Harachaman hu yevareich et ha-aretz hazot, ve-yotziah mei-afeilah le-orah."

At 5/25/2006 , Blogger ZT said...

that's a nice solution BZ.

At 5/27/2006 , Blogger Chorus of Apes said...

I want to chime in favor of an discalimerless anti-occupation harachaman. As ZT points out, many communities have been saying "reshit smichat geulateinu" (that israel is the first flowering of redemption) without a disclaimer for years. In fact at TLS last week I was a bit shocked to hear "reshit smichat geulateinu". It is, after all, a progressive minyan, and I know that most of the organizers support equality, something which is impossible in Israel, and which is not even imaginable for those under occupation. My shock and surprise at hearing this bit of nationalism in a TLS setting was mollified by the harachaman that followed, "hu yiten sof l'kibush". If folks at TLS are going to identify TLS as a social justice minyan, there is no way to say the first one without the second one.

kol ha'kavod ZT!

At 6/08/2006 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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