Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Alix's Personal Blog Jan '10 (MHBOS)

As I climbed onto the couch to make the post-service announcements at Newcomers Shabbat way back in September, I was beaming. At that point, I had been living at the Moishe/Kavod House for just several weeks, and I had not yet experienced what it is like to have 75 people crammed into your upstairs living room. I looked around the room, not only welcoming our guests to the community, but into my new home.

Prior to living at MHBOS, the Moishe/Kavod House was a home away from home and the Prayer Space was the room in which I felt most nourished and alive. These feelings have not vanished in the least, but the Prayer Space has also become home to jigsaw puzzles, mintranet madness, quality naps, and endless meetings. Likewise, Shabbat Services and Potlucks have somewhat transformed from spiritual getaways to business affairs. Fortunately, at this point in time, I have perfected an Erev Shabbat routine that allows me one-on-one time with myself, with "god", and with my close friends and that also allows me to welcome newcomers, support service leaders, and manage the mess of mismatched tupperware at the end of the night.

For me, a meaningful Shabbat is all about what happens in the hours leading up to services and the potluck. My roommates are respectful of the "rules" I've established for Friday afternoons. First off, there is no talk of Moishe/Kavod business and second, kitchen dwellers must be mellow. With all chaos left at the front door, the kitchen becomes a place of catching up with friends while cooking to the music of the Weepies and Girlyman. By the time Margie and I light candles, I have embodied a sense of calm that stays with me throughout the hecticness that exists for a housemate at a MHBOS Shabbat potluck, and I am able to enjoy our spirited services, greet new guests, hang out with friends, and go to bed with a smile on my face at the end of the night.

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