This Friday evening, I will be breaking bread with the Jewish students on campus. In Judaism, the Jewish Sabbath (or Shabbat) begins at sundown on Friday evening and lasts until Saturday night. In observation of this, at BU Hillel there are services and a Shabbat dinner every Friday night.
This Friday’s Shabbat is a special one–Interfaith Shabbat! Interfaith Shabbat is one of my favorite Interfaith Council events of the year. It gives students of many religious and non-religious traditions a chance to explore inside the Hillel House (a beautiful building that few non-Jewish students enter or know much about), to learn more about Jewish religious traditions (all students are invited to attend the Reform, Conservative, or Orthodox services at 5:30 pm), and–of course–to have some delicious kosher food (can you say challah?!).
There are so many important concepts intertwined in Shabbat–the importance of eating together (to use a scholarly religion major term, “shared commensality”); the setting aside of a day of rest (important for any busy college student, especially so close to finals!); the interfaith discussion that follows the dinner. This year we are lucky to have as a keynote speaker Dean Moore from BU’s School of Theology. She will speak after the meal, then group discussions about interfaith issues will be led by various university chaplains and ministers.
I am very excited about the event, and I welcome you to come. All Interfaith Council members can get their meal free! Sign up here, and check out the Facebook event page here. Join us. Eat some challah. Listen to the beauty of a Hebrew prayer. I promise you won’t regret it.