Oasis Songs: Musings from Rav D
Friday, May 25, 2018 / 11 Sivan 5778
No Mishnah Berurah class this Sunday.
Summary: Rabbi Kosak shares some upcoming news.
Tents, Bikes and a Cabin
Last year, I had the opportunity to work with this fantastic young crew who were putting on a local branch of the Ramadan Tent Project. RTP as its called, originated in London. The premise is simple–for a couple of nights at the beginning of Ramadan, the community is invited to a break-the-fast gathering. There are some explanations given about the month long Islamic fasting ritual, a speaker or two and then everyone sits down for a meal. Hopefully, you choose to sit with people you don’t know. It’s a time to break out of our normal friendships and meet people from a different background, religion or culture. And those encounters occur within the ancient human container of hospitality. So the premise is simple–and the goal is lofty. The Ramadan Tent Project, according to their website, is a social enterprise dedicated to serving the youth and wider community through creating spaces of spirituality, dialogue, & empowerment.
This year, Daniela and I have been blessed to work with Zezo and Hanan, who are two of the main organizers. They are these very open-hearted individuals. On Sunday and Monday, if you haven’t yet heard, CNS is opening our tent to this year’s RTP. Hundreds of people will come to celebrate with us and our Muslim neighbors. A owe a special thanks to Rabbi Posen, who will share some words of greetings–when we originally agreed to host this year’s RTP, we were looking at some different dates. For various reasons, this Memorial Day weekend became the slot that worked, and I unfortunately was already committed for the weekend.
Given that, I would be grateful if you can attend one or both nights. It is such a raw time for our country, the middle east, maybe large stretches of the planet. Forming connections in a time like this is a tremendous tikkun, a healing act of faith. More than ever, we do indeed need to create spaces of spirituality, dialogue and empowerment.
So Portland’s Jewish men’s bike club, The Star Cruisers, received some nice press today. Deborah Moon of Oregon Jewish life sat with us a number of weeks. Her interview and article can be found here: http://orjewishlife.com/chai-life-on-a-harley/ and it will come out in print in early June. She captured a real sense of this great bunch of guys, their reasons for riding, and some of the goals of the group. If you have some motorcycling friends in town, please forward it to them.
It’s that time of the year when I am going to hole up off the grid in a friend’s cabin. Next week I’ll take a few solitary days to catch up on some reading and prep for the high holidays but will return by Shabbat. I’ll look forward to catching up with you then, and this column will resume in two weeks.
Warmth and blessings,
Shabbat Table Talk will resume in two weeks
If you’d like to continue this discussion, follow this link to CNS’s Facebook page to share your own perspectives on the topics raised in this week’s Oasis Songs. Comments will be moderated as necessary.