Friday, June 22, 2012

shabbat shalom

I live near Brandeis University, one block in from the main street that runs by the campus.  Brandeis University is a non sectarian school but it started the year that Israel came into existence in 1948.  On its website the school describes itself as the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university in the country.

Brandeis has a diverse ethnic student body,  but there is a large Jewish  population on campus and a percentage of these Jews--certainly not all-- are observant.  There's an old joke that if you have two Jews you have three opinions. At Brandeis and elsewhere you will have a collection of students who feel that they must attend religious services and another group that think it is absurd to attend the services.

In a few hours the Jewish Sabbath begins.  Every Friday evening and Saturday morning groups of college students who are observant walk from their off campus homes to services held on the campus.  I have seen this walk for the 25 years I have been living one block away from their route. Today it is 96 degrees in Boston.  A few weeks ago on a Friday and Saturday it poured so that you wondered if you might need an ark.  The weather forecast for today calls for thunderstorms just about the time that Friday services are scheduled to begin.

The weather does not and will not matter to these groups. Rain or heat, snow or crazy wind, every Friday evening and Saturday morning the observant groups--prohibited from driving on the Sabbath--walk along this main street to get to where they collectively greet the sabbath.  Shabbat Shalom.

There is something to be said for adhering to your beliefs, whatever they might be, no matter what the conditions.  Shabbat Shalom.

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