Sunday, April 22, 2012

Brightening Up in Boulder

For me, Boulder is where it's at. Spiritually, with comfort, with kindness.

I spent another Shabbat there, and I was once again reminded why it feels so comfortable in that community. When you're sitting around a third-meal table singing niggunim and all of the voices -- no matter how few -- seem to match up like a well-trained chorus, when you feel comfortable moving from learning in the sanctuary to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, when children take you to you in seconds giggling with you, when you feel at home ... that's Boulder for me. It was what I needed in this moment of my life where "change" seems to be the only constant.

The learning aspect of being in Boulder is something that I love. When I'm alone in Denver, I don't know what shabbat is supposed to be.

Item 1: The parshah on Shabbat was Shemini and it contained the midpoint of the Torah as measured in words when Moshe considers offerings. Those words that fall on either side of the midpoint are דרש דרש, darosh darash. The doubling of words in Hebrew often implies an intensity of the basic word, so in this case it suggests intensive inquiry, an intense searching. That's Judaism in a nutshell, folks.

Item 2: We discussed Nadav and Avihu and the prohibition of certain actions while intoxicated. The conclusion that we arrived at was that they weren't literally drunk, but perhaps drunk on HaShem. They were so up in the clouds that this world didn't make sense to them. They were, in a way, too high up for this world. It's how I feel sometimes, like I can't connect to this world. I don't, however, want to be the next Nadav or Avihu ... but there are some minds that aren't long for this world because they can't connect on the appropriate level to people, they can't figure out relationships. The lesson: figure out how to live in this world, figure out relationships, figure out how to bring ourselves down to this world. We live here, we don't live in shamayim.

I feel like I walked away from my Shabbat in Boulder with a more vivid view of my neshama. I feel like the flame is brighter, and that I'm moving forward. Small steps, Chavi. Small steps.

And of coure, in addition to just feel at home in Boulder, there's the fact that the Pearl Street Mall is a lot like Ben Yehuda ... especially after Shabbat. Don't believe me?

This was Friday before Shabbat. I roamed the mall ...

This guy was bananas. Muscles like crazy. 

Ben Yehuda has break dancing, Boulder has Improv Yoga.