web analytics
July 6, 2015 / 19 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


NCSY at 60, Havdalah, What? I’m Not Unique?!

ncsy

It’s hard to believe that NCSY National Conference of Synagogue Youth of the OU is celebrating sixty years of activities and bringing Jewish youth closer to Torah, G-d and the Mitzvot.  I became religious, shomeret mitzvot, aka Orthodox through what I saw, felt and learned in NCSY in the mid-1960’s.

When I went to my first Shabbaton in the fall-early winter of 1963 I knew nothing of Torah Judaism.  Of course I knew that I was Jewish.  My family didn’t celebrate Christmas or Easter, but we didn’t observe kashrut, Shabbat or most of the Jewish Holidays and certainly none of the fast days besides going to shul on Yom Kippur.

The Judaism I became acquainted with, under the instruction/supervision of Rabbi Pinchas Stolper and Rabbi Chaim Wasserman, who jointly headed NCSY at the time, was a full-time religion.  It would be a lie to claim or imply that I was smitten by my first introduction to Torah Judaism.  The truth is that I was more attracted to the social and organizational life I discovered in NCSY.  In direct contrast to my new life in Great Neck where we had just moved to the summer of 1962, in NCSY I found friends and approval.  Yes, nobody shunned me for wearing the wrong clothes, even though my tops were sleeveless which I knew was against regulations.  The administrators and advisors knew when and where to pick their battles.

As I worked my way up as chapter and regional officer, nobody forced a sweater on me, even at National Convention 1965. I had very carefully and “davkally” chosen my wardrobe without a sleeve or sweater, pushing limits even as I enthusiastically participated and listened to every session/lecture and every event. I also stood out as an energy-filled dancer at all meals and opportunities.  The effect of the mantra-like lyrics of the songs we sang must have sunk in very deeply, though I was unaware.



Nobody was more surprised than myself when during the Havdalah, which ends Shabbat, Rabbi Stolper’s words finally “cracked” my resistance and suddenly I was in tears vowing to bring Shabbat and all of the other Mitzvot to my everyday life.

Please don’t think it was an easy, quick path or battle. I had many hurdles in terms of family, friends and school.  Of course even almost fifty years later I consider it all worth it.  I can’t imagine my life without the Torah, Mitzvot and living in Israel. Friends I made in NCSY are still my friends, and I do my best to be a credit to NCSY.  This picture is up in my home for all to see.

I had always thought that my story about Havdalah being the key to my neshama soul was unique, but apparently it isn’t.  Havdalah is the ceremony that separates the Holy Day of Shabbat with the other days of the week.  It’s the reality check.  We can’t have Shabbat if we don’t do the weekday chores and preparations. In This World we have to balance the two.  It takes six days of work to create and prepare for Shabbat.  Listening to Rabbi Stolper speak, and I don’t remember after all these years decades what he actually said, it was clear to me that I couldn’t continue living without my weekly dose of Shabbat.  From the short video/film that NCSY produced, I wasn’t the only one whose spiritual vulnerability was touched by Havdalah.



About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “NCSY at 60, Havdalah, What? I’m Not Unique?!”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Aerial firefighters put out blaze ignited by Palestinian Authority arsonists near Jerusalem on Saturday.
Palestinian Authority Arabs Trying to Burn Down Israel
Latest Blogs Stories
Arabs turn their back on the Dome of the Rock to pray towards Mecca, Ramadan 2009

Ramadan is SUPPOSEDLY a month of introspection & repentance; yet attacks on “Infidels” skyrocket

West_Bank_&_Gaza_Map_2007_(Settlements)

Israel wins the wars but LOSES the battles!

Many Moments with Jerusalem's Jordana!

Moving to Israel seems crazy but this week’s my first “aliyaversary,” my Aliyah anniversary! WOW!

Malachi Rosenfeld HY"D

Israel & world Jewry are under attack and in grave danger but UN’s focus is denouncing Israel

What is human chess? How easy is it to predict the actions of others?

It’s time to stand up against the bias & no longer accept the constant UN prejudice against Israel.

Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, injured in a terror attack in Samaria, has died (HYD)

Allah is NOT merciful: Stabbing, beheading, shooting innocents is barbaric & cowardly acts of terror

How could the Jerusalem Post think the attack could have been other than a terrorist act?

Going to Mt of Olives cemetery was like visiting Jurassic Park in a jeep with dinosaurs rampaging

Hanan Porat z”l, teary-eyed said ” We returned to the Gush(Etzion)we shall return to the Gush(Katif)

“Mispachology”: Theory you share a common link with someone you’ve never met or been in contact with

It seems that Pres. Rivlin has joined all other so-called Right politicians and now is trending Left

Dear Muslims, Happy Ramadan. It’s clear from the news that your people are having a “bang-up” month

The President was right, every Jew should have a gun. He just asked the wrong person about it.

Everybody knows that during Ramadan Arab Muslim terror attacks increase.

More Articles from Batya Medad
West_Bank_&_Gaza_Map_2007_(Settlements)

Israel wins the wars but LOSES the battles!

Terror Attack near Shvut Rachel

How could the Jerusalem Post think the attack could have been other than a terrorist act?

Everybody knows that during Ramadan Arab Muslim terror attacks increase.

It’s clear by all the Arabs that work&shop in Jewish stores they’re very happy to be part of Israel

Experts have been predicting Israel’s demise due to “demographic threat” since the State’s founding

The Israeli Leftist & Center) myth that we can exchange Land for Peace is naive and ridiculous.

May all Arab terrorists be captured and then executed and not tried as if they were common criminals

Being “nice” in order to placate bullies only increases the diplomatic offensive against Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/shiloh-musings/ncsy-at-60-havdalah-what-im-not-unique/2014/02/07/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: