Throughout our lives we are often plagued with the feeling, of wanting to be somewhere else, with someone else and doing something else. To be satisfied and connected to the moment and space that we are in is truly a rare gift that encompasses and energizes us infinitely. Thanks to Jewish Student Services (Gamzu), Hillel, Chabad, Ghetto Shul, Tishters and Hashem this years Shavuot experience was one of those rare gifts.
It is clearly stated in the Torah that the Jewish People camped at the foot of Mount Sinai as “one body and one heart”, in anticipation of the receiving of the Torah. This beautiful and inspiring moment in our history, where diversity meets unity, was Rabbi Yonah’s driving thought behind the Fire on the Mountain Festival.
This Shavuot experience was geared for the young funky Jewish students of our generation, who come from diverse religious backgrounds, locations and feelings toward Judaism. The objective was to engage them in a meaningful Shavuot and true Torah experience. This included:
All night learning with dynamic and inspiring teachers such as Rabbi Leibish Hundert of the Ghetto Shul, Rabbi Dovid Maayan of Boston, Rabbi Skaist, who toured with the band Phish, creating Shabbat experiences at festivals for Jews who would otherwise not have one, his charismatic wife, Rebbetzin Skaist and Rabbi Mann of the Chabbad House.
Meals, prayers and events at different locations throughout the city. These locations include The Ghetto Shul, The Chabad House, Bagg Street Shul and The Hillel House; exposing students to the different organizations that support students in a variety of ways
Nature Hike up Mount Royal: Exploring Montreal by foot, this diverse group of Breslov Chassidim, Carlebach Chassidim, Vishnitz Chassidim, Modern Jews and secular Jews walk together, shared Torah and became friends.
A Night of Expression: The experience of Shavuot was a deeply spiritual one, but in order to bring that spirituality into our physical lives and give it meaning, we need to make it our own. Bringing together young Jewish artists, this night of expression was a time to jam; share our thoughts about Torah the world we live in and being Jewish. We were honored to have Rav Shmuel Skaist as our star performer as his music really touches upon the struggle, joy and humor of being a Jew today in this world.
In the true spirit of Shavuot, this revolutionary festival brought together all different types of Jews, teachers and organizations in honor of receiving the Torah.
I want to express deep thanks to all those who contributed financially to this fabulous project and I hope that this Festival will inspire many more informal Jewish Education projects as well as bring us all closer to the time of Moshiach.
(President and co-founder of Tishters)