DAY 582: Excited for Some Rabbinic “Soul Food”

February 2, 2014
By bethmordecai
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DAY 582: Excited for Some Rabbinic “Soul Food”

Dear Hevreh,

I’ve often talked about the need to “recharge our batteries,” the importance of making sure that we take the time to refresh ourselves and rejuvenate our spirits to be the professional/parent/spouse/friend/family member, etc. we want to be. I’ve often talked about this need in the context of spending Shabbat together because Shabbat is designed to be a natural refresher in the midst of our crazy weeks. It is a kind of “soul food” that feeds us when we need some spiritual nourishment.

However, if I’m truly honest with myself,  Shabbat isn’t as refreshing for me because…I’m often working during Shabbat :). Now don’t get me wrong, I love spending Shabbat together. I find our “soul food” of davening, conversations, learning, and socializing to be invigorating. I wouldn’t be doing this job if I thought otherwise. Yet, in order to make sure that I can bring the same energy and creativity to our Shabbat experiences and to all that we are doing to build our community, like our Homecoming Weekend on March 14-16, at times I need to take a personal, refreshing Shabbat.

This week, I will be taking that kind of Shabbat by spending 4 days and 3 nights on a rabbinic retreat in Maryland run by Rabbis Without Borders ( On this retreat, I will be surrounded by a collection of bright, sophisticated, and inspirational rabbis from all different denominations who will be discussing and debating some of the most important questions facing the 21st century Jewish community. Last year’s experience was amazing and I expect nothing less this year as well. It is just the kind of rabbinic “soul food” I need to refresh my energy and creativity as we build for a bright future at Beth Mordecai. It is the kind of Shabbat that help make our Shabbatot together all the more refreshing.

If you are interested in following some of the “soul food l from the retreat, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check out the hashtag #rwbclal.

Kol Tuv,

Rabbi Ari Saks

Photo taken from’s

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