Friday, July 13, 2012

Tired to Energetic: It's Friday!

Today's class was perhaps the longest it has ever felt this week. I was just so burnt out from this entire week. But once class ended, the day just zoomed by.

Anyway, in class, we learned about "Jews and food". Caryn (that should be the right spelling), our guest speaker and somewhat "teacher" for the most part today, taught us "Jews and food". I knew the Jewish people had to follow a Kosher diet, but I didn't realize just how strict Kosher can get. From having two different dishwashers to not eating shellfish, there are many rules in the Jewish lifestyle--not to mention just the eating rules. The fun part of class was when we made challah bread, a Jewish braided bread. It was delicious.
Preparing the challah bread

One important thing that I learned about Jews is that they don't do missions to try to convert people. It made me understand why there are so very few Jews on Earth (only .2%!). However, this also touched my heart in a way, because Jewish people don't care about converting as much as they do as living the lifestyle they believe God wants them to live. But to be honest, I don't see why they don't try harder to convert others. Still, I really admire the Jews for how they think and act.

The scroll!
Instead of going to the Arete presentations and eating dinner in the Commons, the Lived Religion class took a field trip to a reform synagogue service. However, I'm glad we had the chance to. The place was beautiful, and you can tell the people there put a lot of effort to make the place function.

Praying again for Grandma and Mom
The light on the top middle never goes out
Inside the main sanctuary (with Anna)
Sanctuary where service was held
The service itself was actually very, very interesting. I've never been to such a fast-paced service, even though it was about an hour. All the prayers, sayings, and songs were quick--even when some were in Hebrew and had to be translated to English at times. I was a little surprised how there wasn't any message, but I see why they didn't have one. There was no point, because if you are just reminded of the commandments and your obligations and live a life as grateful, happy, and giving as you can, you'll be just fine. And I think the several different prayers and the beautiful, folksy, and happy songs really moved me during the service. By the end of the service, I never felt better, and I felt unbelievably refreshed. I felt closer to God. All the tired feelings in my mind and body washed away once the service ended. Perhaps the delicious, savory food after the service helped to raise my energy as well. 
Lived Religion class
We arrived at Hank Ingram just in time for the glow dance! The dance was, honestly, one of the best, if not the best, dance I've ever experienced. It was great how everyone who wished to dance (which was most of the students) were on the dance floor. Just hanging with my new friends (and of course my cohort) and dancing the night away was just the best feeling ever today. It's amazing how close you can become with people you just met 5 days ago. I didn't like all the organized free-time we had at first, but now I see why this program does it. Friendships really do start easily and grow fast, and a dance is way better than free-time with just a few friends (or maybe just my cohort).

I took a lot more pictures than I put on this post, so I'm sorry if you don't see all my pictures that I took today. But anyway, today was probably my favorite day yet at VSA.  Let's see if any of the next days can top today--which I'm sure is more than possible. 

The Vandy cohort

Some of "The Guys" (who aren't in my proctor group) and of course, Avery

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