This week's portion: holiness and bugs
Panim. Holy wow.

Rabbinic student retreat

I'm heading back to Isabella Freedman in the morning for a long weekend away from home. First, I'm attending a day of contemplative practice (meditation, study, and yoga) designed for rabbinic students and created by the Institute for Jewish Spirituality; then a weekend retreat called Spirituality, Social Justice, and the Rabbinate, under the auspices of Panim, led by Rabbi Sidney Schwartz, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, and Rabbi Or Rose. Here's the description of that retreat, from the Panim website:

The sources of Judaism are filled with references to the values of din, emet and shalom and more. All of these values point to the need for Jews to attend to the most vulnerable in our midst through acts of chesed, and tend to the social injustice we see in the world through acts of tzedek. How do these principles shape our respective rabbinates? How do we convey these values to the people that we serve? How do we fulfill our professional duties and also "walk the talk" of prophetic Judaism, especially when the two might come into conflict? Is it possible to engage with some of the most controversial issues of our time without causing conflict in our congregations?

The part I'm most excited about is meeting my fellow retreatants. The retreat will include students from Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Orthodox rabbinic schools, as well as students from the two transdenominational seminaries (Hebrew College and Aleph). We'll learn together, and (arguably more importantly) daven together, and hopefully come to know one another beyond the labels of our various movements and what we perceive those labels to mean.

Of course, this comes at a nutty time. I have to fax in my Breaking the Sefer Barrier midterm today, my Hasidism class begins again tonight at 9pm, I'm teaching Hebrew school this afternoon, and somewhere in there I have to chose a social justice-related text and make 40 copies of it to bring to the retreat...! But all of this scurrying around just means the weekend will feel even sweeter. (That's what I keep telling myself, anyway.)

So expect a few days of radio silence around here. I look forward to immersing in this intriguing new experience, and who knows, maybe I'll have a story or two to tell when I come home!

Technorati tags: , , .