web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



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

ncsy

Share Button

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.



Share Button

About the Author: Batya Medad blogs at Shiloh Musings.


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.

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

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Who will he take to the dance?
It’s Prom Time, and Abbas Must Choose a Dance Partner – Israel or Hamas
Latest Blogs Stories
The IDF is creating a global interactive Holocaust Survivor Commemoration.

The IDF will take everyone’s #WeAreHere stories and create an interactive, dynamic honor to the Shoah survivors.

A woman sits next to the grave of an Israeli fallen soldier on Har Herzl.

Peace, true peace, isn’t up to us. We’ve offered it on gilded platters forever. Nothing we do will bring peace to our Land.

Community Surveillance.jpg

The Justice Department allows the FBI to use demographic mapping, but the NYPD no longer can.

The Trophy System creates a protective dome which shields tanks from anti-tank missiles.

Check out the IDF’s most innovative weapons (at least the ones they can tell us about.)

When will the State of Israel decide the Palestinian Arabs are a hostile enemy and treat them as such?

Like Hamas, Hezbollah also builds tunnels. Those tunnels pose a serious danger to IDF border patrols.

Visa has ads in an Egyptian magazine in which a story describes Jews as vampires. And worse.

World Council of Churches expresses solidarity with “Palestinians” ‘languishing’ in Israeli prisons.

The Seder: We starve (during the sometimes endless recitations and discussions) and we feast.

The unique skills of people on the autistic spectrum adds great breadth to IDF intelligence work.

Passover is a road that we still travel, a long journey from slavery to freedom.

In Iran, 131 offenses are punishable by death, including blasphemy, adultery and homosexuality.

Women must eat Matzah on Pesach too but that is also a time bound positive commandment.

Pro-Israel leaders on campus are as important as the troops in the IDF and professional hasbaraniks.

The seder reminds us of our freedom now that we are home again in the land of the Nation of Israel

IDF helicopters are ready to act on a moment’s notice to defend the State of Israel.

More Articles from Batya Medad
A woman sits next to the grave of an Israeli fallen soldier on Har Herzl.

Peace, true peace, isn’t up to us. We’ve offered it on gilded platters forever. Nothing we do will bring peace to our Land.

Haggadah for the Passover Seder.

The Seder: We starve (during the sometimes endless recitations and discussions) and we feast.

Pro-Israel leaders on campus are as important as the troops in the IDF and professional hasbaraniks.

Before Begin’s policy of withdrawing from Land liberated in the 6 Day War, today’s scenario was unthinkable.

Rosh Chodesh Nissan commemorates the very first mitzvah.

Today’s supposedly Center-Right politicians are more like the Extreme Left of earlier, safer time

I said to the Arab woman, ‘if the politicians would just leave us alone, we’d have peace.’ She agreed.

Jolie decided she doesn’t need her mammary glands and ovaries, we in Israel do not need the United States of America.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: