Adult Shabbaton "Getting to God"- December 11, 2010
On Saturday, December 11, 2010 we welcomed back Rabbi Marc Belgrad who, once again, engaged and enlightened us, this time guiding participants on an exploration of the ways one might experience God.
The eight-hour day passed quickly as Rabbi Belgrad led us through a structured, meaningful and comfortable program which included readings, discussion topics, Bibliodrama, a Mincha service, personal reflections and Havdalah. As we transitioned from one part of the program to the next, we had time to write personal reflections and share them if we wished.
Our learning began with a thought-provoking essay by Franz Kafka entitled “Before the Law,” in which a man who seeks entry to “the law” is stopped by a gatekeeper. For years, for his entire life in fact, these efforts had been thwarted by obstacles set before him by the gatekeeper and by the man’s own behaviors. We discussed “the law” as Torah/God’s relationship with the Jewish people and “the law” as a metaphor for God, and the gatekeeper the man himself.
Further analysis of this essay, some short psalms and a few commentaries on the V’ahavta encouraged discussion of the human condition. We talked about the external and internal factors that might prevent even those seeking a connection with something beyond ourselves, perhaps a connection with God, from achieving it. As the day unfolded, we delved into the symbiotic relationship between the left-brain intellect and the right-brain emotions, particularly trust.
New to many of us, Bibliodrama was part of the program as well. This activity offered opportunities to engage in dialogue in the role of God or of the first humans, in order to explore the dynamic between God and man more directly.
In spite of our diverse upbringing, varying levels of Jewish education and individual life experiences, our conversations shared common threads, as we did something Rabbi Belgrad noted many Jewish people have not typically done – talk about God and begin to develop a vocabulary for it.
Note: This program was co-sponsored by the Adult Education Committee and the Executive Committee as a new program. Whether you were able to attend or not, please let us know if you are interested in this all-day format by emailing Mark or Barbara Turner
. In addition, Rabbi Belgrad also leads adult education programs through Lehrhaus at OSRUI If you would like to be added to his mailing list, you may email Rabbi Belgrad