The Torah Schmooze has celebrated its share of shehecheyanus – for our beginning, for reaching the end of Deuteronomy and beginning Genesis at Simchat Torah, and for having reached the conclusion of each of the five books. When we started at the start of last summer, it was perhaps fitting that we dove into the middle – with Balak and his talking she-donkey. I had no idea really what the Schmooze would be like, who would come, where it would go, and what I would learn from it all. Next week’s meeting calls for yet one more shehecheyanu, for we will truly have come full circle: Chukat is the last portion of the Torah yet to be discussed – the week after we begin again, with Balak.
For those who have not been able to attend, it is difficult – perhaps impossible – to describe the richness of studying the Torah every week for year. I could tell you about the perspectives I have gained on our history, beliefs and practices; the questions we have asked, the issues we debated, the personal stories we have shared; that we read not only the Torah portions but also brought into the fray the maddening, inscrutable and fascinating commentaries of Rashi, Ramban, Midrash and the Talmud; that I had no idea how all of this would enrich my views and perspectives on Judaism, the Jewish people, community, The New Shul, and the world. For those who have not been able to attend, I hate to break it to you, you’ve missed out!
And to all those who have come – once, twice, as often as you could, or every week – how else can I put it? I am so deeply, utterly and sincerely grateful for your participation that there are no words to express how truly thankful I am. Without you there would be no Schmooze – just myself sitting in a café alone. Because of you, my life has been enriched in ways I could never have contemplated. I hope that the Schmooze has been meaningful for you as well.
Come and we’ll puzzle it out together.
Where: The communal table at Le Pain Quotidien (550 Hudson Street at Perry Street)
When: Thursday, June 30, at 6:00 pm
What: Schmooze about this week’s portion, Chukat
Who: Any and all comers!
Parshat Chukat from G-dcast.com
More Torah cartoons at www.g-dcast.com