This past Shabbat was very special, particularly because it was the last one I spent with my fellow Pardes students, some of whom I’ve been studying with for nearly a month and a half. We have shared laughter, personal stories, the experience of learning challenging and interesting texts, and we’ve grown together.
We decided to meet up for Kabbalat Shabbat services at First Station, and toward the end of the service, we were asked to get up and make a big circle, while singing “Oseh Shalom.” We grabbed the hands of the person on either side of us and began walking, dancing, skipping in a circle.
I thought of something Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel had said about Shabbat: “The goal is creating the Sabbath as a foretaste of paradise.” I looked around me. I saw smiles. I saw eyes closed. I saw laughter and tears. I saw the circle adjust with every new person who joined in—men, women, children, young and old, energetic, quiet and soulful.
And at that moment I felt as if I were tasting paradise—a time and place where many diverse and unique voices would coexist, where they would come together and create something beautiful and vibrant and filled with life! I smiled and closed my eyes and relished the taste of paradise.

2 Comments on “

  1. Wow! How special to experience that taste of paradise. You will come home so enriched by the people you have met and the experiences you have shared with all these new friends. Can’t wait to hear all about the different types of souls that touched your life. Love, Ruthie

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. A taste of paradise – love, peace, joy. Your post filed me with joy as I closed my eyes and could see you dancing, the way you would as a child – carefree, confident, full of love and hope.

    Like

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