I have attended several Jewish gatherings in my lifetime. Most of these events remind me of my culture’s unique traditions, while others contribute to my interest in Judaism. Rarely do I experience a Jewish event that intertwines these two feelings. As a freshman that arrived on campus only a few weeks ago, I did not expect Shabbat 150 to connect me to Judaism in the way that it did.
On September 23, at 6:00 p.m., over one hundred students, congregated at Hale House for a delicious Shabbat dinner.
Shabbat, also known as Sabbath, occurs every Friday night. Shabbat is Judaism’s day of rest. It officially begins at sundown and continues until Saturday night – lasting roughly 25 hours – finally ending at nightfall.
This year, Chabad hosted its sixth annual Shabbat 150 to celebrate Hakhel and Jewish unity on campus. In ancient times, during a Hakhel year, Jews would stream to Jerusalem to unite in the Holy Temple, and hear Torah from the king. Chabad partnered with AEPi, the Jewish fraternity at Union, Hillel and Jewish members of various clubs, Greek organizations and athletic teams to make this once a year event a reality.
The Dutch Pipers sang the traditional Shalom Aleichem song, and the audience chimed in, adding to the spirit of Shabbat 150. The entire multi course dinner was cooked by amazing student volunteers. The delicious kosher menu highlighted traditional Shabbat foods such as homemade challah, matzah ball soup, chicken and many other dishes including gluten free and vegetarian options to cater to everyone’s dietary needs. Georgia Klein and Hannah Josovitz baked all the desserts!
Most students felt very connected while celebrating Shabbat 150 and commemorating Hakhel. The splendid food, entertainment, and the overall feeling of intimacy of Shabbat 150 made last week’s Shabbat extremely enjoyable. I cannot wait for next year’s Shabbat 150!
Chabad hosts a weekly Shabbat dinner at its center on Seward every Friday at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend!
For more information please contact Chabad president, Melanie Gragg, or Chabad directors, Rabbi Shmuly and Laiky Rubin.