Eser was a great experience for me. I decided to join to meet Jewish young adults, to hear their opinions, and to learn more about different topics within Judaism. This year’s Eser theme was “Top Ten Jewish Innovations” and there were some great topics that our leaders Eliane Dreyfus and Daniel Solomon and Rabbi Rachel brought to life through very interesting discussions.
My favorite topics included the innovation of Shabbat as a day of rest and the innovation of monotheism. The session and discussion about Shabbat empowered me to do a little bit more in terms of observance. A little bit more doesn't mean becoming “Shomer Shabbas” (fully Shabbat observant) when you aren't even religious. It could mean putting your phone away for a few hours or not turning on the TV for a block of time or going for a walk to enjoy the day. We discussed the fact that Shabbat can be observed by just doing something different from what you normally do. I really enjoy and have embraced that concept.
Another great session addressed the innovation of monotheism. I struggle with what God means to me. I am a conservative Jew, and while I believe that God exists I have questions about what that means. This session helped me explore such questions and potential answers. While I didn’t get “answers” to all of my questions, it was a wonderful opportunity to hear how other people in my group are confident in their thoughts of God or how some also struggle with defining what God means to them. It was a great session and I left with lots of new thoughts and maybe even a few more questions!
Overall the program was very worthwhile and I am so glad I was able to participate!
Amanda B. Werber, Brookline