Tuesday, August 19, 2008

After the Institute #2: Reminders for future years

This post will be of interest primarily to other Institute attendees.

  1. Learn the words to all the verses of Yedid Nefesh, so that you can teach Lenny Solomon's tune next year.
  2. Don't bring much food--you ate like a pig all week.
  3. Do bring an extra plug-in light for the powder room (for my foreign readers, that's a room with only a toilet and [usually] a sink, as opposed to a "full bath," which also has a bathtub, or, at least, a shower stall). The light there is connected to fan that sounds like a bleeping vacuum cleaner, which you certainly don't want to hear all Shabbat/Sabbath, and your flashlight barely lasted overnight. (You really don't want to have to leave the door ajar when you're using the powder room during the day.) Someone suggested that we bring a night light, which is an excellent idea.
  4. Bring more light-switch covers for Shabbat. I think we were short at least three.
  5. Bring two white shirts for each of you for Shabbat--at the Institute, many people follow the traditional minhag Yerushalmi (custom of Jerusalem) and wear white tops, at least, especially on Friday night. Some of the women wore white from head to toe.
  6. Weekday breakfast note (there being no hot food served on Shabbat morning): The real maple syrup is on the shelf right at the cafeteria entrance.
  7. Um, Ms. Can't-Handle-Beans, you did better with dairy despite your mild lactose intolerance.
  8. Be sure to try before you "buy"--many of the dishes have more pepper in them than you can tolerate, so sample things first before piling them onto your plate. The Punster said that the soups were generally too peppery for you.
  9. Bring your camera, and plenty of batteries ('cause videos use a lot of power) to the Thursday night talent show!!!!
  10. Don't forget to ask someone to take a photo of the two of you.
  11. Bring your copy of the sheet music for Salamone Rossi's (correction: Louis Levandowki's) "Halleluyah," if you can find it. You'll probably end up singing it over Shabbat (maybe Friday night when folks get together to sing after the poetry reading, which is when we tried it this time).
  12. Someone's great suggestion: Fold up your schedule and stick it into the plastic casing containing your name tag/meal-admission card, to make it easier to carry on Shabbat. (Note to my readers: Yes, there's an eruv.)
  13. Say Birkot HaShachar (the Morning Blessings) before Shacharit (the Morning Service) on Shabbat--this year, the Traditional Egalitarian minyan started the service at Pesukei D'Zimrah (Verses of Song [mostly psalms and biblical quotes], sometimes called the Introductory Service), and you ended up playing catch-up again.
  14. Do n'tilat yadayim (the ritual hand-washing) and say a motzi (the blessing thanking G-d for bread) before getting on the lunch line on Shabbat, 'cause you'll never be able to get back through that line to the washing station. (Okay, it'll be a bit out of order, saying hamotzi before kiddush [the prayer, recited over any beverage except water, thanking G-d for the Sabbath], but logistics seem to necessitate this.)
  15. Eat Shabbat lunch and dinner/seudah shlishit in the back seating area (the Hampshire Room?)--that's where all the singing was going on this year.
  16. Friday, August 29, 2008 update: Follow the same instinct you followed this time, and bring enough clothes for the whole week--you'll be too busy davvening, studying, reading, singing, dancing, and/or having fun to bother doing laundry. Parents with kids in tow probably don't have the luxury of skipping a laundry session--there are some advantages to being past the child-rearing phase.
  17. Another Fri., Aug. 29, 2008 update: As you did this year, be sure to take housing next year within the eruv, on the main part of the campus --aside from being outside the eruv, the lakeside housing is a serious schlep from the main part of the campus, and the last thing you need, in terms of getting to morning minyan on time, is an extra 20-minute walk.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quick Halacha on washing before Kiddush... It is permitted to do Wash, Kiddush, Motzi, as that is the German Custom and permitted. Kiddush is NOT made over "any beverage," though lunch Kiddush is less strict and is often made over a "beverage of the land." Kiddush, particularly the Friday night Kiddush, may be made over wine (the preferable beverage), or bread. However, you can't eat, including making Motzi, without hearing Kiddush.

Consult your own Rav, but in the case you described, needing to wash before the food line, one possibly permitted idea would me:
1. Wash hands (using the German custom of washing before Kiddush)
2. Make Kiddush over bread, then instead of Hagafen (blessing over wine), you should Motzi and eat the bread. Then you have heard/made Kiddush, and washed for bread.
3. If you have wine during a meal that you have already made Motzi for, you still make Hagafen, so you can still participate in the communal Kiddush, just quietly make your own Hagafen. If that seems disrespectful, if you talk (say a single word), between the guy making the blessing (Hagafen, not Kiddush), and his drinking it, you are no longer covered by his blessing and should make your own.

Just a creative thought for situations like that one. A strictly permitted action, that would be frowned on in Conservative and Chareidi circles, because both emphasize "looking Jewish" over following Halacha.

Thu Aug 21, 08:24:00 AM 2008  
Blogger BZ said...

Did people sing the Rossi Halleluyah this year??? Sorry I missed it! Next time.

Thu Aug 21, 03:00:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Alex, we're still in trouble because there's no way to get two whole loaves of bread at the washing stand--with some 600 people descending on the cafeteria at once for lunch, the staff would have to put literally hundreds of challah rolls at the washing stand. But okay, we'll make kiddush over whatever bread is available. Then we'll grab some grape juice and say "Borei p'ri hagafen" (thanking G-d for creating the fruit of the vine). (There was no wine except for the bring-your-own bottles that were being checked for kashrut by the mashgiach, and I could never really handle booze even before the acid reflux made it off-limits, in any case.) That's probably the best we can manage, under the circumstances.

Sun Aug 24, 12:17:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

BZ, I'm pretty sure that the "Halleluyah, hallelu Kel b'kodsho" that we were attempting is a Rossi piece, though he also wrote a gorgeous arrangement of "Halleluyah, halleli nafshi"--I vaguely remember both of them from my shul-choir days. If you have copies of either--or both!--please bring them next year! Thanks!

Sun Aug 24, 12:23:00 PM 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looking Jewish vs. required... While it is preferable, and symbolic, to have two loaves of bread, and there are 8 million customs on what to do with them, it isn't, to my knowledge, strictly necessary. If you can't afford to have two loaves of bread, I believe that you could get by with one, or what you could afford (this generally doesn't come up today, as people can afford bread, but the Halacha is there). Talk to someone more knowledgeable than me.

If one couldn't have two loaves of bread (as you couldn't in this circumstance), I believe that you would still be permitted to make Motzi on any amount of bread sufficient to make Motzi.

Don't confuse preferable with required.

Mon Aug 25, 01:25:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Alex, thanks for the information. I thought that halachah (Jewish religious law) required one to make ha-motzi over two whole loaves of bread at dinner and lunch on Shabbat (Sabbath) and Shalosh R'galim (Pilgrimage Festivals). I'll inquire further.

Mon Aug 25, 12:55:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Correction: It was Louis Levandowski's Halleluyah (not Salamone Rossi's) that we were attempting to sing on Friday night in Pierce Hall, long after dinner.

Wed Aug 27, 10:20:00 AM 2008  

Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>