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Lazy Sunday

Today I’m catching up reading all the posts from the JitW-spring06 list that I missed reading because I didn’t register until a few days before the gathering. The discussions and insights of the folks on the list touch on all of the relevant issues and reflect the sophistication and insight I respect so much in this seasonally renewed community. I’m really sorry I couldn’t contribute to it until I became physically present in the gathering space in central PA last shabbes. But really by then it was too late. Like starting shabbes without having prepared food. Funny thing how I understood the importance of the list as an aspect of process and preparation. My experience now has confirmed its necessity. I don’t believe I was mentally or spiritually prepared for meeting up with these holy yiddim. Much of the feelings I experienced could have been mitigated by simply having become comfortable with the thoughts and email address names of the people I would soon meet. Instead, all I found was a huge group of new people, to struggle to find some warmth and acceptance from. Too many feelings of social vulnerability and angst. And there were stressors from within JitW I needed to cope with, certain people and conversations I needed to have, old business to deal with and learn from, that could have benefited from pre-shabbes preparation. I survived, and I will continue but I will also seek to pre-empt any damage from this by building jitw relationships offlist before next Fall.

About Aharon N. Varady


Aharon's Omphalos is the hobbit hole of Aharon Varady, founding director of the Open Siddur Project. He is a community planner and environmental educator working to improve stewardship of the Public Domain, be it the physical and natural commons of urban park systems or the creative and cultural commons of libraries and museums. His advocacy for open-source strategies in the Jewish community has been written about in the Atlantic Magazine, the Yiddish Forverts, Tablet, and Haaretz. He is particularly interested in pedagogies for advancing ecological wisdom, developing creative and emotional intelligence, and realizing effective theurgical praxes . He welcomes your comments, personal messages, and kind words. If you find his work helpful to your own or you'd simply like to support him, please consider donating via his Patreon account.

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