Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Stimulating and Relevant - Jack Cohen - MH East Bay
Living in a cool place, with cool people, where other cool people come to commune in my home is kind of ideal. The two words that I find myself using most often to describe this communing are “fun” and “meaningful,” and the past few months have been a more deliberate effort at combining these two. One form this takes is a monthly open learning group of sorts that we call Torah the Explorah. It has been incredibly rewarding to learn Torah with friends and have really exciting discussions, to discover that "learning Torah" can be stimulating and relevant and affect our lives in some way, and so on. Recently, for example, we had a really interesting discussion looking at ways of dealing with anger appropriately, using as a jumping off point the way G?d and Moses respond to the Golden Calf incident. No expert in Torah myself, I am challenged as the facilitator of this group to develop—our house often, in fact, offers facilitators new to their roles the chance to practice with willing participants, be it in Jewish learning, social entrepreneurship, or creative writing. Another manifestation of our growing intentionality is the Jewish Meditators Group that we started in our home last week. Meditation practice is no stranger to Jews in the Bay Area, where a list of spiritual teachers reads like a Hebrew school roll call, so we are working to integrate practices that already resonate so strongly in ways that fit in with our Jewish lives. As we do so, we see our community growing and becoming more active in making MH East Bay into a center for spiritual and social community.