Shabbat at Beth Sholom doesn't end with services and kiddish. Todd, Tracey, and their daughter Gavriela have graciously made their house a gathering place where we eat, drink, discuss and generally continue the joy of Shabbat--a day not just of rest but of taking time to just be without any outside influences or pressures. It's a gift we give ourselves and to our children--and something that is not easy to find in this over-scheduled 21st Century existance. There's no work, there's no soccer, there's no shopping. We pray together, sing together, connect with each other. It's something that fuels the rest of the week.
Yesterday, at Gavriella's urging, a group of us played "Torah Charades," an original game that Gavi created. The rules are simple--you act out a scene from anywhere in the Tanach - the Torah, the Nevi'im (Prophets), the Ketuvim (Writings). You can't use words, you can use props. The rest of the group has to guess what you are portraying. The group consisted of 3 girls, ages 9 - 11, and 4 adults, women ages 25 - 62. As you can imagine, the girls did most of the acting. In fact, the only adult who acted out a scene was--no surprise here--me. I've got to tell you, these girls know their Tanach!! One scene they did was Moses passing on the leadership to Joshua before dying; another was Jacob tricking his father into giving him the blessing instead of his brother Esau and then fleeing. And they could guess mine, one of which was Moses at the burning bush. I'm not sure my acting was great, but as soon as I took my shoes off, they had it.
I've written before in the post L'Dor V'Dor about the gratification I feel when I see girls involved in Judaism and given the same opportunities as boys. It was so wonderful to see these girls have such an affinity for their Judaism. But the best part for me came when Gavi's grandmother proudly asked her (knowing what the answer would be, of course), "Gavi, what do you want to be when you grow up?" And without hesitation and somewhat matter-of-factly, Gavi answered, "a rabbi."
When I was a girl there was a time that if someone asked me that question, I would have said "a rebbitzen." That was before I found out to that to be a rebbitzen you had to marry a rabbi. There were no women rabbis when I was a girl. I'm not sure what I thought a rebbitzen did, but you can see where I wished I could go.
Hearing Gavi's answer, my heart soared. It gave me faith in the next generation---l'dor v'dor.