|Shared Values - A Vision of Jewish Cohousing||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Gabriel36 (Gabriel36aol.com)|
|Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 12:55:01 -0700 (MST)|
In a message dated 11/28/01 11:01:35 AM, cohousing-l-request [at] cohousing.org writes: << Actually, I would love to see the definition of Jewish that a group would use. I grew up in the Midwest in small towns where I was not aware of Jewish culture and just figuring out who considers themselves to be Jewish and who doesn't is still a complex task for me. And this is after 30 years of living on the East Coast, marrying a Jewish man, spending Christmas with Jewish friends, and belonging to a Unitarian Church. >> I am one of the dozen or so people involved in this conversation/vision of Jewish cohousing. What follows is in no way official, rather some of my personal, nascient ideas. Jewish people in Eastern Europe before WWII lived in cohousing. Well, not exactly, but the schtetles (Jewish villages) satisfied much of what we are aiming for in co-housing. I would love to live in a community where every Friday afternoon I could smell the challah baking in the commonhouse, have no lawn mowers buzzing on the Sabbath (Saturday) while we hang out and support each other to get a real day of rest and then join for Havdalah (beautiful short ritual at the end of the Sabbath) on Saturday night. I imagine at (kosher vegetarian/dairy/fish - no meat) common meals we would begin and end the meals with blessings of gratitude, might discuss the Torah portion of the week and after the meal maybe stay for singing z'mirot (songs). On the holiday of Sukkot, I can imagine that together we would build a Sukkah (harvest moon celebration hut) in the center of the community where we would eat together throughtout the 8 days of that holiday. On Hanukah, we would come together to light candles. On Tu B'Shavat (birthday of the trees) we would plant together and for Passover, we might decorate the common house with a desert motif :-D My personal orientation is Jewish Renewal, which professes an honoring of the wisdom of all traditions. In that spirit, I would support/attend morning prayers a couple times a week that incorporate (as is my practice) the traditional liturgy with Yoga and chanting. Also in that spirit, I do not judge my neighbors' personal practice and expect the same. My personal practice has never much included going to synagogue (although I am married to a rabbi!). It has always been more about connecting with the cycles of the moon (the Hebrew calendar is lunar) and centered on home rituals. In this way, Jewish cohousing really makes sense. Essentially, anyone who was drawn to live in a cohousing community with these practices, rituals and rules would be welcome, whether or not they identified themselves as Jewish. My son attends preschool at the Jewish Community Center where plenty of his schoolmates are not Jewish and still particiapte fully in a learning and celebration of the Sabbath and Jewish Holidays. It is not a problem. The only way I could imagine this might be a problem is if a *majority* of people are not practicing Judaism, and it is hard to believe that this is how such a community would develop. At one point I had an idea to create a village of cohousing communities, each strengthing its own traditional heritage and sharing resources on a grander scale with each other. We invite your neighborhood to eat in our Sukkah and you invite us to your Cinco de Mayo celebration.... This time of year, especially, Jewish people who do not celebrate Christmas, can feel invisible and disconnected from the mainstream. My goal for living in Jewish Cohousing would not be to exclude and separate, rather to strengthen and preserve and continue to renew some of our beautiful (dying? hard to maintain?) cultural/historical/religious traditions. As the days grow shorter, I wish you all Blessings of light Cindy Gabriel Jewish Cohousing Wanna-be Boulder, Colorado _______________________________________________ Cohousing-L mailing list Cohousing-L [at] cohousing.org Unsubscribe and other info: http://www.communityforum.net/mailman/listinfo/cohousing-l
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