Updatage

The High Holy Days

We are rapidly approaching the High Holy Days, starting with Rosh Hashanah which ushers in the New Year and then the Days of Awe which proceed Kol Nidrei, the service before Yom Kippur which is the day of Atonement.

Rosh Hashanah is observed this Year (2007/5767) from Sundown on September 12th through Sundown on September 14th. Erev Rosh Hashanah is Sundown on September 12th. The First Day of Rosh Hashanah is September 13th, The Second Day of Rosh Hashanah is September 14th, with further services on Shabbat Shuva on Saturday September 15th. I will be home for Rosh Hashanah services, then flying back up to Buffalo Sunday, September 16th to sit for classes, and then returning to New York City Friday Afternoon for Yom Kippur which begins Sundown on Friday September 21st and lasts through Sundown Friday September, 22nd returning to Buffalo Sunday September 23, 2007.

Kol Nidrei for some time now, has been my favorite service, and I look forward to it every year. In my synagogue’s tradition, we have an entire service for those who cannot have a service themselves; for those who if they admitted their Jewish heritage would be put to death. This runs a lot deeper for me…because there are many other people in the world who cannot admit who and what they are for fear of what are sometimes very real, very deadly consequences. So together, we pray for those who want to, but cannot pray for themselves and we pray for their atonement and we look forward to a day when closets are only for clothes.

This brings us to Yom Kippur, when even the angels tremble in awe before the lord; this is the most calming day of the year for me (and also the most emotional). I wear humble, slightly ripped clothing to synagogue. Hashem has seen me naked, he’s seen me when I’ve been the most vulnerable so why stand before God with the pretense of an Armani suit in some hopes that he’ll see cloth instead of my soul…it’s so much more fulfilling to stand before him, imperfect, in imperfect clothing saying “this is who I am, you know who I am, I know who I am, I stand before you knowing I can hide no secrets and with the understanding that I will transgress again.” Others disagree and bring out the bling, which is their right, it’s just not my style, but to each their own.

Classes & The Weekend

Classes are going wonderfully (they’re work intensive, and they’re interesting…I hate when I’m bored in class, and fortunately this semester that’s not an issue). My schedule – thankfully – is smoothing itself out as we approach the end of the second week of classes. With twelve or so weeks left to go (or three months, not that I’m counting…okay, I’m counting…) I’m excited for things to be picking up speed. I’ve found, going into my sixth year at UB, that it takes two and a half weeks for everything to fall in place for faculty and students alike, no matter how much planning you’ve done.

I’m taking this weekend, starting Friday Night (after dinner with Jeruen and Second Dinner with the Syphrit Sisters) – through Sunday Night to turn off my cell phone, shut down my instant messenger and to get ahead in the readings, to get ahead in the assignments, and to catch up on some of the Tibetan Work that I want to get done.

I also need this time to do laundry, clean my apartment, scrub the floors, and personally, to just recharge.

Hillel

I’m incredibly excited and pleased to be able to announce that I’ve been hired by Hillel as their Special Projects Intern (from September 5th through December 20th) with my main focus of getting the Chai Line up and running.

I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to set the project that I’ve designed into motion. It’s my hope that the program will turn into a student lead initiative for Hillels nation-wide and that it will grow in scope while still following the principles of what a Life Line should be. I first designed this program last fall, so I’m incredibly happy that I’ll personally have the chance to implement it before I make Aliyah to Israel…to see what I’ve designed come to life, so to speak.

My time requirement is ten-hours a week; though I’m sure I’ll have the pleasure of being able to put more time and effort into the program to make sure that it gets off to a rocking start.

Israel Update

I received an email from Nefesh B’Nefesh letting me know that my grant application is currently being processed, and while there’s some last few things that need to be ironed out, we’re well on our way to finishing this section of the process. I’m still in the process of figuring out where I stand with relation to Garin Tzabar and I believe I’ll find out more about that sometime in October. I should find out what Kibbutz I’m on sometime in December.

New Instrument

I’ve decided, after hanging around the sale at Guitar World last weekend, that I want to get a Back Packers Guitar…I’ve been dying to learn a new instrument for awhile (I play the clarinet) and Guitars seem to bring people together no matter what country your in, so I’ve decided to invest in one and learn how to play as I go…I still can’t sing…but that’s what other people are for. It’ll take a couple of weeks to save up for, but that’s fine…I won’t have time to start jamming on it until after October anyway.

Travel

One eye the shadows, protecting his fellows, from sun up to the moon on his back, send the villains to hades, a hit with the ladies, a stallion in the sack”
– A Man For All Seasons

…time to hit the sack.