Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Singles Shabbaton Chronicles Part 21

Saturday, 5:35 pm

The rabbi is saying havdala. It goes on forever. He makes many heartfelt embellishments to the text, even beyond the lengthy traditional Sephardi havdala service, inserting prayers that everyone here should find their true soulmate, etc. Someone has brought out fresh mint leaves to use as b’samim. If I weren't so relieved that Shabbat was over I'd enjoy the rabbi's exuberance more.

Then we go to the breakfast room to light a chanukiyah. Miriam’s chanukiyah is where she’d last left it, looking a bit charred. The Shabbaton organizer, Avi, is setting up a chanukiyah, but he’s putting the candles in the wrong side; they go on the right, not the left. I wonder whether maybe the Sephardim do it differently. I decide that if the rabbi is OK with this situation, then I’ll be OK with it too. Sure enough, I look again and the rabbi is setting up another chanukiyah with the candles on the right. We start to sing Ma'oz Tzur, but they skip some of the verses. Another Sephardi-ism? I realize I have a lot to learn about their culture and traditions, but am certainly not in the mood to start now.

Chani and Moshe are leaving in about an hour. I go upstairs to take a shower and wash the Shabbaton off of me.

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