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Reflection on Friday Night

Friday, 24 March, 2017 - 12:20 pm


Friday night started with all the women in our group lighting candles outside the synagogue in Chabad.

We learned from Sarah that the lighting of the candles is a mitzvah that only women have the privilege of taking part in.

After lighting the candles, the women and men of the group went to their designated areas of the synagogue to witness the end of the bat mitzvah happening that night.

Everyone threw candy at the bat mitzvah girl, which I thought was so fun and celebratory; my synagogue at home doesn't do that.

After the bat mitzvah service was over, we all walked over to the center for Jewish students in Berlin where we had our own Shabbat service.

Joining us were the Rabbi and Rebbetzin from Tel Aviv Israel who had just recently moved to Berlin and a few Jewish students from the area.

The service was full of energy and it felt amazing to be celebrating Shabbat in Berlin, a place where doing so 75 years ago could have gotten us killed

. Once the service was over, we had a wonderful dinner with tons of food and drinks. Each person went around and introduced themselves and said what app they would be if they had to pick one. The dinner went on for a long time and during this time, we all got to know each other a little better and really got to be ourselves.

There were lots and lots and lots of L'Chaims and some really great and thoughtful speeches from everyone there, which made us all feel very connected and close.

This night started off as very overwhelming for me because I sometimes feel lost in large groups, but by the end of the night I honestly felt like I could go talk to anyone at the table and the group felt so much smaller than it did at the start.

It's amazing what a difference a little time with a group of people can make on the impression they have on you.

Another thing that I think made dinner so unbelievable was the fact that no one was on their phones because it was Shabbat.

We are all so accustomed to multitasking; having conversations and scrolling through Facebook or instagram at the same time.

But we forget what it's like to actually look people in the eye and have an uninterrupted conversation with them.

The absence of technology definitely made the night a lot more meaningful. 

Friday night's Shabbat dinner was one for the books and I know I speak on behalf of the group when I say we are glad it was at the end of the week, after we have already gotten the chance to know each other and make some memories.

It made it that much easier to just relax, enjoy the dinner, and make even more memories together. 

-Sophie Schwartz 


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