Write Yourself into the Story of MKH
|Greetings Moishe Kavodniks,
This past weekend marked the coming and passing of Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks which celebrates the giving of the Torah to the Jewish People at Mt. Sinai. This presents an interesting paradox in that the Torah is principally a book of laws, but also the story of the Jewish people from their ethnogenesis in eastern Mesopotamia to their entry into the land of Israel after wandering for 40 years in the desert. The law of course is immutable, but at the time of the Torah’s receipt, only half of the story of the Jewish people contained in it had actually happened. This discrepancy has caused many students of the Torah to ask if the Torah, then, contains premonitions of future events which in turn raises very fundamental questions about fate and the nature of free will.
The rabbis however teach that this discrepancy need not cause us to doubt that we are the arbiters of our own fate and that it is explained by a simple misunderstanding of the text. It is taught that the giving of the Torah meant that God revealed to Moses the teachings of the Torah. God downloaded to Moses an understanding of the nature of the divine and universal ethical teachings. In no way were future events imparted to Moses as he communed with God. The story of the wandering in the desert and the initial re-entry into the land of Israel (the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy) then were written by Moses as the Jewish people continued to wander. To put it another way, the Israelites walked away from the foot of Sinai, empowered with knowledge but knowing that their future was unwritten. It was their charge to engage in the ultimate expression of communal free will and write their story as they lived it.
This weekend, we as a community have the opportunity to do much the same. We have a chance to come together and write a new part of our communal narrative, much as the Israelites did thousands of years ago. The annual MKH community retreat begins this Friday night and runs to Sunday afternoon. It is, as always, a time to relax, learn, and get to know other community members better, but this year think of it as an opportunity to come together and compose part of our community’s story. Sunday is given over for visioning as a community and this is a time to remember that our future as an organization is unwritten and it is up to you craft the arc of it’s plot and characters. There’s still room, but registration closes tonight, so don’t hesitate. Click here and register before it’s too late! Join us and write yourself into this chapter of the tale of The Moishe Kavod Jewish Social Justice House.
And, if you can’t join us, we invite you tell your part of our story to us at Shabbat, Tikkun on Tap and everything else that June holds for our community.
Aaron, Annie, Helen, and Tslil
Join us tomorrow for the May installment Moishe Kavod House’s monthly social justice bar night where young, social justice-minded Jews, who want to mingle, reflect, laugh, be creative, make connections and find out more about on going projects in our community. 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), whose 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. May 30th, 7-9 pm, Lir Pub (903 Boylston St, Boston), $3 suggested donation.
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 retreat will begin at 6:30PM on Friday June 1st with a Shabbat Pot-Luck in the same fashion as our usual bi-monthly Shabbat Pot-Lucks. Services will be community led and begin by 6:45PM to be followed by a pot-luck dinner brought by all of us. All other meals for the weekend will be provided. Saturday and Sunday will include spiritual activities, workshops, community conversations, recreation activities, Shabbat rest, and a camp fire! We will leave after lunch on Sunday. You can register by clicking here. Rates are $65 for members and $85 for non-members – price includes retreat and membership dues through the remainder of the year if you are not currently a member. If you have any questions about the retreat, need cost adjustment, or are unsure if you’re a member please contact Adina, our Membership Chair, at email@example.com.
Join the MKH men’s group on June 9th from 7-9 pm for a bonfire, marshmallow roasting, drinks and discussion. This month Matt Lowe will be facilitating the discussion, “Who’s In, Who’s Out?: How to Make an Appropriately Exclusive and Inclusive Men’s Group”. We’ll be addressing the questions Why have a men’s only group? What benefit do we as men gain from creating a men’s only space? How would we make a men’s groups that serves all men, regardless of sexual orientation or cis/trans status? RSVP for exact location. To RSVP or if you have questions, please e-mail Aaron Gunning at Aaron@kavodhouse.com
Interested in talking with friends and peers about sex and sexuality? On Sunday June 17th, join Moishe Kavod’s Sex Ed team for our first ever Sex Ed team retreat, an intersectional dialogue about sex, faith, power, and what’s next for the MKH team. Please RSVP to EthicalSexuality@kavodhouse.com. We can hold up to 18-20 participants, so please secure your place soon; we would love to see new and old faces! Additionally, we welcome participants from various religious backgrounds – Jewish and otherwise – for a richer dialogue and learning environment.Breakfast will be served, Lunch will be a potluck. June 17th, 10 am to 6 pm at the Arbeit Residence in Newton. Please RSVP to arrange for transportation.
Community Allies Announcements
We would love to have you join us for our 46th Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner on Thursday, May 31 at First Church in Cambridge. We would also love to give you the opportunity to have a display table to show your wares and connect with people. It would be an incredible opportunity to interact with the interfaith community concerned for social justice. The cost is only $75 and includes dinner. A flyer with more information is attached. Please dont hesitate to contact Alex (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Matt (email@example.com) if you have any questions. Thanks so much and we hope to see you there!