Last night, I led a discussion on shofar-blasting for Rosh HaShanah, which was cheerfully accompanied by a bourbon-tasting. Continuing on with the bimonthly series I began two years ago with a spirits-tasting and learning opportunity, last night’s event focussed on various aspects of shofar-blasting, just in time ahead of Rosh HaShanah this week, to provide participants with a better sense of the mitzvah of shofar-blasting on the holiday.
Participants were treated to four different bourbons, three of which were supplied by participants. The next event in the tasting series will be taking place on Sunday 9 November; topic and spirit TBD (suggestions are welcome).
Last night, I led a discussion for young adults regarding Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, the “High Holidays”, in the Torah. Part of my “Bible & Brewery” series, visiting different breweries in the greater Orange County-Long Beach area, while exploring Biblical sections, this event took place at The Bruery in Placentia.
Young adult attendees came from Long Beach, Anaheim, and Costa Mesa to join in on this conversation, helping them get mentally ready for the upcoming holidays!
In April, I visited the Hillel group at Occidental College for the first time, where I got to learn about the campus culture there and, specifically, their Hillel. We then engaged in a question-and-answer session, with the students peppering me with some tough queries.
This past weekend, I had the honor of being one of the presenters at the tenth annual Jewlicious Festival. Taking place on the historic RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California, the festival began in the late afternoon of February 28th and concluded in the late morning on March 2nd. This year was my fifth consecutive year of being involved and presenting at the festival.
In addition to helping get things ready for the festival beforehand, I also was present for the weekend and led two text-based discussions. The first of which was on Friday night, wherein I led an exploration of wisdom from our tradition around finding one’s mate, focussing on Biblical and Talmudic pieces. The second of which was on Saturday morning, concerning what not to say, wherein we examined an early rabbinic (tannaitic) piece (beraita) which provided examples of how one can transgress Lev. 25:17.
For the former, I led a discussion in a manner standard for me. However, for the latter, I decided to begin discussing it in a regular way, but then had the group break up in pairs and discuss each of the six examples from the text, rotating after each example. I was glad I was able to make it more interactive, right on the spot! After that rotating element, we all returned to discuss the previous text and what people’s thoughts on it were. It was a great way to get people moving, talking and thinking in the morning!
The rest of the weekend was pretty chill and it was great seeing a lot of faces, both new and familiar, and the Saturday night concert was the most enjoyable it has been in a few years. Also, the VIP wine-tasting aspect was really well attended and quite packed with enjoyable live music going on along with it.