Today marks the first official day of our 10th year here in Oberlin. Two days before Sukkos my family and I arrived in this then unknown town justin time to build a sukkah. Boy have things changed. When we first got here Oberlin felt so big, then we realized the entire city is a square mile. Also when we first moved here we didn't know anyone, obviously, so we would buckle the kids (we only had 2 then) into the stroller and walk around town in hopes that someone might say hello and introduce themselves. Now, Thank G-d we can't walk out of our house without bumping into a minyan of people that we know. The most profound thing that has impacted us upon reflecting on our time here in Oberlin is how much our family has grown. No I don't mean our biological family, but the countless students and others who have come through Oberlin and have had a profound impact on our lives. The fact that we moved to Oberlin just in time for Sukkos was perfect timing. Sukkos is a holiday all about happiness and on a personal level nothing could make me and my family more happy than having established our roots here in Oberlin, and we hope we have brought a lot of joy and smiles to Oberlin as well.
In looking back on our 9 years here I was looking back at my old files and read the article about Chabad at Oberlin that appeared in the Wall Street Journal a few years ago. It was a beautiful piece that I believe encompasses many of the values that we strive to live by. Read the article wsj article.pdf
I watched a short YouTube clip that was touching about Sukkos and how one community shared an Etrog because they were so hard to come by in that village. In 90 seconds we learn such a valuable lesson in the beauty of sharing the resources that we have. Also I have a few extra lulav and etrog sets, please email if you would like one.
I also read a series of stories of people who felt estranged from their Judaism and through various ways found a way to reconnect. Some of those folks were Berkley hippies, some were adults, some children, they really came from all walks of life, but there was one story that had me gripped. It deals with an elderly man and his adult daughter. I don't want to spoil the story so read it here, then come for Shabbos and we can discuss. Read it here
Have a great Shabbos,
p.s. there is a lot of great stuff coming up this week, obviously tonight is Shabbos, so come pop in and join us, Sunday morning there will be a discussion at JHouse about variants in Jewish practice where I will be sharing some thoughts along with the Hillel Director and Professor Shari Rabin. Sunday night at 7:30pm there will be sushi in the sukkah at Chabad there will also be a sukkah on Mudd for you to use and enjoy
And lastly, if you haven't heard already plug into the newest episode of the Soul Searchers ChabadCast with special guest Emily Jacobson. Listen here, or put chabad cast into any podcasting app.