Staying on the subject of happiness at different stages of your life, I am happy to share great news: once again this year I am volunteering for Limmud FSU! This is, definitely, the best way of staying young. You are surrounded by young, smart, and fun to be with people! We have just spent a great weekend planning the event. We stayed at the Hudson Valley Resort, beautiful place years ago, run down now, but the nature surrounding it is so magnificent that it could erase any negativity.
Did YOU hear about Limmud? This is a brilliant concept that brings together Jews regardless of their religious, territorial, ethnic, gender backgrounds in order to learn, socialise, have fun, sing, dance or just talk together. I’ve been lucky to take part in Limmud Chavruta project for a few years, and it was such a satisfying intellectual activity. That is kind of like Pardes, but it’s less text and more diversity of activities/fun. Especially at Limmud FSU. There is a reason Russian-speaking Jews try to organize their own events, go to their own shuls, and socialize with their own. Even if the younger generation speaks English between themselves, they still want to congregate together. This phenomenon has been questioned and discussed at length in mainstream Jewish communities in the USA. Yet, the situation remains.
Limmud FSU is, definitely, interesting to prepare, and great to participate in. During a weekend you will see, hear, and experience things you are not usually exposed to. If you are into learning like me, it’s fun to go to a wine tasting or an interactive class. If you never held Torah in your hands, try a text study class, and feel the tradition of your ancestors fill your heart and mind. If you never debated anyone about politics – get yourself to a panel discussion that brings the world, and especially, Israeli politics close to you. The beauty of the event is in its diversity. I, for one, am always amazed that I end up talking to people I would otherwise, not see at all.
Another big draw for me, as a mother, is the fact that young people meet, like each other, marry, and have children within “Limmud circle”. We have quite a few young families that either met at Limmud FSU, or through Limmud connections with adorable young “limmudnik” kiddies. And they continue to be involved! They come pregnant, nursing, with babies and toddlers in tow.
It is not a secret that our world, so exciting, so forward-looking, so advanced in a lot of ways has lost something very profound in the rush to the future. A family. A normal, loving family with the mother feeding her loved ones an apple pie or blintzes, with the father coming home with presents for kids, with everyone running in the park, or driving to the lake on Sundays. I remember my own mother, no matter how busy, would always sit us all down for dinner every night. A real dinner, of course, not some half-made by someone else.
Today, our lives are so fast paced, that it seems that young people have time to think about everything else, but building a family. And, there are, of course, legitimate reasons for this phenomenon. Still, it feels that we’ve lost something. So, an event, where people can meet, and hopefully, fall in love is of great importance for me as a Jewish mother. And I am very happy to be involved, and hope to present again on my favorite subject of Jewish women in history. Possibly, even on the history of Jewish food! If interested, stay tuned.