This past weekend I had the chance to attend Michigan Region’s first-ever Regional Shabbaton. The event was a truly unique and incredible experience that I am so grateful I attended. Part of how Shabbaton was unique is that there was no set curfew. There was one quiet room, a moderately quiet room, and a room where people could talk until as late as they wanted. As I looked around the dark room at 2:00 AM, talking to my best friends, I smiled. Despite how simple the moment was, I felt so special. It meant so much to me to sit in a dark room, surrounded by my peers, to be able to stay up as late and talk as freely as we wanted.
We all finally fell asleep and woke up the next morning. We ate breakfast and were then welcomed into a traditional Torah service. Soon into the service, we had the option to break off into a meditation or mental health service; I decided to proceed into the mental health service. I sat down and listened to my friend’s honest words about her struggle with mental health, followed by another one of my peers speaking on a similar topic. The service was so remarkable, as the leader brought everyone in that room closer together and made them feel at home.
After the service, we then participated in three rotations: one about our relationship with God, one about our relationship with Israel, and one about our relationship with ourselves. Each of these rotations brought intense questions to light pertaining to these relationships and their connections to Judaism.
Michigan’s Regional Shabbaton was one of the most extraordinary regional gatherings I have ever attended, and I am so glad I could be a part of it.
Seth Katzman is an Aleph from Michigan Region and loves playing baseball.
All views expressed on content written for The Shofar represent the opinions and thoughts of the individual authors. The author biography represents the author at the time in which they were in BBYO.
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