November 6, 2015
I’ve often said that I love the beautiful aspects of Judaism and I am so happy that we incorporate many Jewish traditions in our home. The glowing Shabbat candles, the braided challah covered by the sequined challah cover my husband and I purchased in Israel two years ago, the shiny and handsome Kiddush cup, the many artistic and whimsical Chanukiahs that stand tall on our dining room table during the Festival of Lights…and so much more. But today I learned something new. Something perhaps that I knew sub-consciously but, let’s face it, sounds much more powerful when Adrienne Gold says it. Judaism loves beauty — purposeful internal beauty, but also outward beauty (with a matching inside, of course).
I suppose this love affair with beauty somewhat explains why you can’t walk ten feet in this country of ours without laying eyes on the most stunning, sparkling, and colourful jewelry, accessories, and home decor items. Not that I noticed or will be taking any back with me to Toronto. Nope. Not me. Nothing to see here, folks.
Today, beauty was in abundance.
Two hundred women packed a room to discover the beautiful and spiritual tradition of preparing, separating, shaping, and baking challah (not to mention the discovery of some jaw-dropping – literally! – challah-shaping tricks including a flower, bird, and twists on the traditional braid).
The beautiful sound of inspired and connected women singing songs in Hebrew while swaying arm in arm filled the room to welcome the Sabbath.
Beautiful Neshamas ate, talked, cried, danced, and sang our way through a truly memorable Shabbat dinner in Jerusalem. Rav Gav (a.k.a. Rock Star/Comedian/Rabbi), you brought down the house…it was a beautiful thing. Oh, and two hundred women from around the world now have a crush on you. Just saying.
Perhaps most beautiful of all is the confidence I see in our leaders and my fellow JWRPers. I have never been surrounded by so many women who are so comfortable in their own skin. So happy and thankful to be who they are, to do what they do, to share what they share, to dance how they dance, to sing how they sing, to hug how they hug, to smile how they smile, to teach how they teach, to love how they love. So open, creative, wise, educated, spiritual, funny. So incredibly in love with Judaism and the beauty it infuses into their lives every day in every way. To me, confidence equals beauty and this place is oozing with it.
I always knew Judaism could be beautiful. I just didn’t know it could win an Academy Award for it.