I just returned from a farbrengen at Esther Ginsburg's house. A farbrengen is a gathering of
people sharing stories, singing, drinking and eating. The drinking helps facilitate closeness between one another, so we make a L'chaim to bless one another.
This evening was one of sharing stories, song, eating, and laughter.
Yehudit runs the organization Bais Chana of California and organized the evening. Her lovely daughter in law, Avigail was one of the honored speakers. She is newly married, speaks with a South African accent, and was raised in Israel. She is lovely and radiates her inner grace and beauty. I was curious to know her maiden name. Turns out I know her mom and met Avigail as well in Jerusalem. Her mother, Shoshana plays the harp. She is an elegant, graceful woman I always admired and wanted to emulate.
Avigail spoke about Emunah; faith and how we can have that connection. The story that will stay with me is her feeling down about herself and going to the Grove. She went to the Apple store. She saw a man working there running from one side of the store to the other. He had blonde hair and tatoos on his arm. One tatoo caught her eye, it was a phrase in hebrew from Teaching of the Fathers-Pirkei Avot:
If I am not for mySelf, Who is for Me?
And if I am only for mySelf What am I?
And if not now, when?
We are here not only for ourself, also to serve
if it is only for our Ego, to serve ourselves, what are we?
and the time is now, what are we waiting for? The world was created for us
to share our unique gift and talents.
She said that seeing that was able to shift her out of her own 'ego trip' and see more clearly.
We are always receiving messages.
I'm feeling clearer on what my message is. Chanukah is a holiday for women, the heroine of the story is Yehudit, who killed one of the Greek army generals. When we light the menorah we are not supposed to do any work, and if we gaze and meditate on the candles, we can receive the light of the holiday. Our body is our home, and its an opportunity to bring more light into our bodies. bodies of light. radiating, shining pure light. Receiving bodywork is a great way to make space for the light to shine. does this flow? I'm writing past my bedtime.
Yehudit shared her story how she got into Chabad. She was raised by parents who became Torah observant as adults. I would say 'hippie 'seekers who became observant. Her father connected to Chassidic Rebbes, and was connected to the Amshinover Rebbe. The Amshinover Rebbe is known for being on a different plane when in comes to time. Supposedly he keeps Shabbat until Tuesday,a nd I heard that he lights the Chanukah menorah late at night/close to dawn.
She got exposed to a lot of different Chassidic Rebbes. She attended Bais Yaakov school until 8th grade when her family moved to LA. She attended Bais Yaakov in Denver for 2 years, and then convinced her parents to go to Israel for her last year of high school and attend Bais Chana, a Chabad school in Jerusalem. She got married in Israel and lived there for a few years.
A woman named Roz had us all laughing sharing her stories that she teaches traffic school. She is 75. She told a story about connecting to Gd through stealing halva candy that she HAD to have when she would go to the store for her family. She would put a piece of halva on her family's tab at the store each time when went shopping.