Brave Wednesdays Report

I had, I admit, a little bit fallen off the Brave Wednesday bandwagon. Every week is a relentless pace. But I’m determined to pick myself back up and get back on. So this week, I jumped back into it with a very brave act- I got up I front of people with my questions. I taught and I learned. It was electrifying and incredible and really everything that Brave Wednesdays are all about. Allow me to back up and explain:

This past Wednesday was the Jewish holiday of Shavuot. This is the holiday during which we celebrate receiving the Torah at Mt. Sinai. One traditional way to celebrate is to stay up all night learning Torah, as a way of symbolically accepting the gift of Torah and recommitting to it. Philly’s Center City Kehilla, which brings together all the varied different Jewish organizations in Philadelphia for community events, hosted an all-night learning program for the third time this year. The sessions were all taught by community members. Now I will admit that as a parent of a two-year-old I did not stay up all night this year. I did, however, teach!

My session was ambitiously titled Building a Stable Practice on Unstable Theology or, Am I Doing That Today? (Link leads to source sheet that was our jumping off point.) I had lesson planned for if we had less than 10 participants, and for up to 20 participants. I had not planned on the almost 70 that showed up to learn with me. That in itself was amazing. But the discussions we had! From all around the room as we sat in concentric circles and I stood turning and turning in the middle to hear everyone, from different walks of, and stages of, life came answers and questions all sorts as we grappled with deep and meaningful questions together, as a community. It was awe inspiring. It was invigorating. It was the kind of thing that can only happen when you are brave, and share publicly of your innermost self. It was what Brave Wednesdays are about.