After trying for a year to enter Israel to study Judaism, I got in during a tiny open window in November. The borders closed again less than one week after I arrived due to a new covid outbreak. B”H. I made it in. I’ve just completed day nine at a Jewish Learning Institution in Jerusalem.
Before I describe these first days, please travel back in time with me to the 1980’s for a synopsis of my first year in college, my first college assignment, my first college grade…
I got an “F” 😳
Have you ever had an amazing experience you were not yet ready to put it into words?
I am in awe once again… this time with an internal experience. Crazy, wonderful and grounding Jewish learnings are flooding in. Lessons on Torah, Chassidus, Halacha, day to day living, Hebrew, Chumash… They’re just an awesome blob of ideas right now swirling in my head. I won’t attempt to bog you down with details until these learnings coalesce a bit. In the meantime, below is a bit of free association …. kind of a spiritual placeholder. I’m so excited to share more with you as this starts to takes form.
Quick Share For Now
Relationships: Gushing… the young women who are my classmates, the Rabbis and teachers are heartwarming, inspiring, brilliant lights. It is a pleasure to learn with these people who are striving to be and do good.
Content: We are diving deep intoTorah, mitzvahs, and Jewish texts which have been studied and performed for thousands of years.
AND we are learning Chassidus… a handbook for living that takes mystical concepts and brings them down to a practical livable experience of Joie de vivre.
Hashem: … love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your might. (from Deutoronomy 6-5). AND … love your neighbor as yourself (from Leviticus 19:18)
Coming to trust G-d was a hard earned road for me. Now to love G-d and my fellow as myself… truly, deeply, really?
So many questions… It’s beyond my GPS.
Yet I’m confident it will be found…
on this inner map that leads to Joie de vivre and Simcha שִׂמְחָה. All in due course,
Love Vivi 💖
To be continued…. ©
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B”H – Blessed is G-d
TORAH: The written and oral Jewish Law includes the Five Books of Moses, the Prophets and the Writings. Moses was also given the Oral Law, which explains and clarifies the Written Law. Here is a link to a broader definition .
CHASSIDUS: Sourced from Chabad.org “Chassidism” : ” (a) The movement within Judaism founded by Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), stressing service of G-d through the mystical in addition to the legalistic dimension of Judaism, the power of joy, love of G-d and one’s fellow, emotional involvement in prayer, finding G-dliness in every aspect of one’s existence, and the elevation of the material universe; (b) the teachings and philosophy of this movement; see also Chabad“
HALACHA: Jewish law. Guides the day to day life of a Jewish person
CHUMUSH: The Five Books of Moses