[The Shabbat Edition 001]

Hallelujah it’s Shabbat: my favorite day, ever, in this Universe. I can’t even remember what happened this week, I just know it was a long and almost boring one….so commence the weekend activities. 

I want to do my Shabbat entries in a very special formatting with the following: 

  1. A small synopsis of my week (most will be in relation to trying to live a Jewish life). 
  2. Life lessons-ish or from my Intro to Judaism class.  
  3. Any special moments or events that I got to attend. 
  4. What I’m looking forward to in the upcoming weeks. 

A Small Synopsis 

-Last Saturday/Sunday was spent with The Corset Line cast. We opened our show at Temple B’nai Israel. Sunday after strike we all went out to dinner together and had a blast. We have 2 more full show weekends at different locations, then it’s over. 

-While there on Sunday, I learned that the Temple is doing a Purim Spiel and so I talked to the cantor involved and I will be soon doing something with that. In the meantime, I googled “Purim Spiel” and came across two amazing shows. One being a Billy Joel tribute and the other Hamilton the Musical. 

-At Hanukkah (my one year) I privately declared that I was no longer going to eat pork or ham. Thank G-d that I have a legit reason to turn bacon down without getting “that look” because I really truly don’t like it… Anyway, I asked the market that’s close by my work to make a Cuban with turkey for me. My goodness… it is so delicious. Made my week just about! 

-I downloaded some Jewish music: songs for the holidays, songs for Shabbat (you better believe I’ll be listening to this all day!) and some violin music. One day I will post what I wrote about listening to “If I Were a Rich Man” ~ otherwise you can go read it on my Instagram a few posts ago. 

-Wholly Guacamole! I have a website now. Legendary. Not really, just felt like saying that. 

Lessons Learned 

I don’t know if this counts as a lessons learned, but it is something from my Intro class. 

I love how in Judaism you can continue to comment on just about everything and make stances, when in Christianity it had always seemed to be so cut and dry and you can’t question things, or else. I’m not writing this as an insult or slur, I’m just simply stating… I know I found the right religion to follow because I question everything… even my own question’s question I question. 

Events / Special Moments 

I am so excited that I finally have a space to share my moments with you… like—for instance—Art Shabbat from two weeks ago. I am bringing that up now, because I just went to another show at The Poetry Bar in the Art Exchange building last night (Thursday). It was yet another moment to wander around in a spectacularly inspirational place. Arrival led us to pinning on a heart shape to our clothing, walking through the doors to hear laughter of friends, and then, listening to some speak about love-love-love, sing of fate, and how our DNA can become a part of The Poetry Bar. 

Now, Art Shabbat (service run by Temple Beth-El) was the most fabulous thing. I think it should be required at least once a month. You are connecting with something so real and tangible (objects of meaning) and the prayer / song (is the poetry) and this place was just so perfect for it. We sang Sanctuary—which instantly became my favorite song after discovering it from Central Synagogue in New York—nearly over a year ago. The way that one forms words… have meaning. The need to express through art without words…has meaning. It’s how you interpret, read and analyze everything. Perfect for Judaism, eh? 

We moved about the two rooms and the Rabbi spoke about certain moments, sang certain prayers then the owners would talk if it was something specific to their art. The only thing [we] missed the mark on was singing the L’chah Dodi.

I was drawn to their “dreamers corner” like a magnet pulling me in….I had no idea that that is where the plans were born until the owners spoke about it. It was almost like a permanent sukkah too. 

There were open suitcases and trunks every where. That excited the gypsy in me, but it also meant something else: I had already decided before walking in there that “suitcase” was going to be a part of my new writer’s group name (and also a symbol).…so, as you can imagine—the me who reads into everything—believed this to be a sign. 

Art Shabbat was literally the same week that everything I had worked so hard to obtain in 2018 was pretty much….poof, gone… doors slammed. It was the worst week on top of an already worst week. Seeing the word “surrender” written on their wall meant something to me… that I had to surrender my dreams. Maybe not permanently, but for then/now, it was the time to do so. 

And last night (Thursday), two of my writers joined me and they had their personal moments too while in there… one was thinking about improv because he hadn’t done it a while and came upon someone from his old improv class, the other was to paint angel wings and she mentioned it before walking in there and on the wall was angel wings. I—again—had my own moment. I mean, something is definitely happening within that place. I don’t know what, but I can feel the poet in me becoming inspired after being put to rest for so long. My words may actually have song in them again…..one day….  

What am I looking forward to this week? 

-I’ll be working at the Catherine Hickman Theater this weekend with The Corset Line. I cannot wait, I have missed being there, and it has a proper stage—of which—I have missed greatly. 

-Also, after we strike on Sunday: hopefully I will get to catch about 30 mins to an hour worth of Gulfport’s first ever Pride Celebration. I want all the color. And glitter. Ah! I hope there’s glitter! 

-Getting back together with my writer’s group after about week off…..although I have no earthly idea where we are going to host our regular meetings yet. 

-Going to the first rehearsal with Purim Spiel at Temple B’nai Israel. 

-I bought myself a Valentine’s Gift: a very beautiful purple/pink hamsa necklace from my favorite jewelry company that I found through Instagram. I can’t wait until it arrives and I get to show you all! 

-Going to see Leslea Newman on V-Day at Temple Beth-El. In preparation I was googling “Letter to Harvey Milk” and came across the musical, so—of course, as a musical nerd—I downloaded it. Big mistake. I was blasting it in my car during my lunch errand run and the words…the depth of the songs…the meaning… hits a part of my heart and soul that doesn’t really come out any more due to being hurt. I’m not sure why all of these things are happening, I just know they are, and you know what… maybe it’s time I stop questioning it and embrace it. Another time, another entry for this subject, though… maybe after I see her on V-Day. 

SHABBAT SHALOM! 
Much love, Karen Maeby 

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