Holding Tension is a Jewish Value

Holding Tension is a Jewish Value

Greetings Moishe Kavodniks,

Tomorrow marks Rosh Chodesh Sivan or the beginning of the new Hebrew month of Sivan. It was on that day thousands of years ago, says the Torah, that the twleve tribes of Israel arrived at the foot of Mt. Sinai and made camp. It was here that the Israelites prepared themselves to receive God’s law and enter into a new covenant with God. It is said, by many of the rabbis that this covenant was entered into with one accord by all the people of Israel. They entered into a new relationship with God with one mind and one heart and without hesitation.

And that, of course, was the last time in history that the Jewish people agreed on anything.

All joking aside though, few communal or personal decisions are arrived at so quickly and without debate in today’s Jewish world. Yet this is not a fact that should be mourned or regretted. It is rather a sign of our maturity as a people that we can encompass a diversity of thoughts and opinions and still consider ourselves to be whole as a nation. This may not be profound but it is a thoroughly Jewish sentiment and one worth keeping in mind during the coming weekend’s Shavuot celebrations. While you are studying into the wee hours of the morning, considering what aspects of Jewish laws, values, and covenental relationship with God still ring true to you, or are just eating a cheese blintz, take a moment to consider the delicious complexity that is one of the defining aspects of Jewish life. Take a moment to consider what it means to innovate while honoring tradition,  to challenge a country’s actions while cherishing its existence, or to develop a relationship with a God that you acknowledge to be largely silent. Then, remember that finding truth in seeming contradiction is a part of your birthright as a Jew.

As always though, if holding tension between two opposing ideas becomes overwhelming for you, we are here to struggle through the contradictions with you. We hope to see you this Shavuot, at our upcoming retreat, and whatever else the future holds for us.

In Peace (and conflict?),

Aaron, Annie, Helen, and Tslil

Don’t Forget to Register for our Community Retreat! – Friday, June 1st, 2012 through Sunday June 3rd, 2012. Register here and enjoy a weekend of friends, fun, nature walks, worship, learning, and communal visioning.

Featured Events

Rosh Chodesh/New Moon Gathering – Sivan

Rosh Chodesh Sivan, led by Ilana Streit. We will explore the seven sfirot (attributes) of the counting of the omer (the seven weeks between Passover seders and the holiday of Shavuot). It will be a time of reflection, singing, and sound healing. This group meeting is open to all genders. May 23rd, 6:30-8:00pm at MKH.

The Young and The Restless: Where are America’s Young Jews?

The Young and Restless: Where are Young American Jews? will tackle how the passion for Jewish life and for Israel that characterized prior generations gets transmitted to this new generation or has too much already changed. Panelists include Peter Beinart, John Ruskay ,Rabbi Avi Weiss and Rabbi Margie Klein of Congregation Sha’arei Shalom (Ashland, MA), The discussion will be moderated by Leonard Fein, an author and essayist whose columns have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, and The Nation. Cost is $15. Students and seniors: $12. For tickets, contact 617-965-5226, boxoffice@jccgb.orgor visit www.bostonjcc.org/artsevents. Thursday, May 24 at 7:30pm at the Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center in Newton.

Brookline Community Tikkun Leil Shavuot

Moishe Kavod House is co-sponosring this Brookline-wide celebration of the festival of Shavuot. Join your friends and neighbors for an all-night educational and cultural experience at the 4th Annual Brookline Community Tikkun Leil Shavuot! We again offer a variety of traditional and innovative programming. Come for one hour, or stay up all-night! Learn from world-renowned educators and neighborhood favorites. Study traditional and contemporary texts. Experience meditation. Try new wines at our kosher tasting. Bake bread and break bread with friends. At Congregation Kehillath Israel, 9 pm Saturday May 26th to 4 am Sunday May 27th.

Tikkun on Tap – May: Stories and Social Justice

Join us for the May installment of Moishe Kavod House’s monthly social justice bar night where young, social justice-minded Jews can mingle, reflect, laugh, be creative, make connections and find out more about on going projects in our community.This month we look at stories as a tool for pursuing justice. Stories define who we are. They tell us where we come from. They are the foundation of our relationships. In short, stories have power. At this month’s Tikkun on Tap, we are joined by writer, podcaster, and radio producer Ari Daniel Shapiro (contributor to WGBH’s The World and NPR’s Radiolab), who’s insights will help us consider how (radio and audio) stories have been used to create positive social change in the world, and how we can do the same.Wednesday, May 30th, 7-9 pm, Lir Pub (903 Boylston St, Boston), $3 suggested donation.

Community Retreat

The time has come for the annual MKH Community Retreat! This year the retreat will be from June 1st – 3rd at Friendly Crossways in Harvard, MA. We encourage all those connected to the community, or with interest in becoming involved in the community to attend! The annual community retreat is a great opportunity to get out of the city and participate in bonding, visioning, nature, reflecting, bonfire-ing, and celebrating all weekend long. It is a great way to relax with old friends, make new ones, and get to know the community a bit better for a compact taste of what we are like all year long! If you would like to register click here to access our registration page. Register now and receive an early bird discount. If you have any questions about the retreat, please contact Adina, our Membership Chair at adina@kavodhouse.com.

Community Allies Announcements

Pride Weekend with Keshet June 7-9

Pride Bar Night - Start off your celebration of the gayest month of the year with Keshet! We will be holding our annual Keshet Pride Bar Night June 7th at Christopher’s Restaurant & Bar, 1920 Massachusetts Avenue, CambridgeCome out and join us for schmoozing with wonderful folks and fabulous drinks. Starts at 8pm. Click here to register.

Bagel Brunch and Pride Parade - Then, Sunday June 7th start your Pride off with bagels and schmear, then parade your fabulous selves through Boston’s streets in the Keshet contingent! Stop by our booth at the festival afterwards to chat with staff and volunteers, and to celebrate our Jewish LGBT pride! 10 am Pre-Parade Bagel Brunch, 12 pm March with Keshet in the Parade, 1 pm Festival begins. Join us any time during the day! RSVP by 6/7 for brunch and parade location. Click here to register.

To Till and To Tend: Jewish Food and Farming Summer Intensive Course

Do you want to spend a week exploring Jewishness and organic farming in Boston this summer? The Jewish Farm School and Hebrew College are partnering to offer you a weeklong, intensive course exploring the intersection of Judaism, agriculture and contemporary food justice. This week of experiential learning will help you increase your skill-based knowledge of sustainable agricultural techniques while you engage in meaningful volunteer service work. You will have the opportunity to dialogue with activists, community leaders and business leaders and to study in the Hebrew College beit midrash (House of Study) where classic Jewish texts will enlighten your understanding of contemporary environmental and food justice issues. A team of expert instructors from Hebrew College and Jewish Farm School will be on hand to offer guided mentorship.  Sunday, June 3-Sunday, June 10, 2012 To find out more about Fellowships available contact Rabbi Or Rose, 617-559-8636 To find out more about this program visit jewishfarmschool.org or hebrewcollege.edu.

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