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Aish Kodesh Benefit Dinner

A Different Kind of Benefit Dinner Honoring Larry and Cindy Halpern

It is told that Rabbi Eliezer Berland, who runs the Shuvu Bonim seminary in Jerusalem, was once asked why G-d didn’t simply send him all the money he needed to run his organization. Rabbi Berland answered: “To give people the honor of giving to it.”

Rabbi Berland was not being cheeky. He genuinely believed that every person who gave a few dollars to Shuvu Bonim was having a great spiritual impact on him/herself and the whole world. Wouldn’t it be so wonderful if we saw every request to give, every invite to every annual dinner, as an “opportunity to give” rather than “someone bothering me for money?”

Aish Kodesh will be holding its annual “Opportunity to Give” on February 27th at the Millennium Harvest House. This year’s event is called “In the Garden of Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom.” Rebbe Nachman was a unique rabbi who emphasized joy above everything else. Without joy, he would say, we cannot pray, we cannot learn, and we cannot grow. So at the event, we will present Rebbe Nachman’s unique teachings on what joy is and how to get there. Attendees will have an opportunity to try it out for themselves.

Rebbe Nachman was also very practical – he discouraged fancy religious acts and instead spoke about having simple conversations with G-d about whatever’s on your mind. He called it hitbodedut – literally, being alone. “See that G-d is your best friend,” he would say.  (Though if he was in Boulder, he would have encouraged people to think of G-d as their therapist). And he would send his followers to the woods and fields to open their hearts in their own language. We will talk about this practice at our event, and will provide an opportunity to practice in our specially designed “hitbode-booth.”

Rebbe Nachman also strongly emphasized dancing, and taught that dancing has powerful impact on our own health and can change the course of history. So we will have our annual dance party with good, groovy Jewish music. (And maybe some Stevie Wonder.)

This is the 200th anniversary of Rebbe Nachman’s death. He told his followers that his lessons would continue to increase in popularity, and they have. 30,000 people of all stripes visit his grave on Rosh Hashanah every year. Many secular Israelis learn his books. And Aish Kodesh in Boulder does its best to bring a taste of his teachings to Boulder.

At this year’s event, Rabbi Gavriel Goldfeder’s rabbi, Rav Natan Greenberg, will join us from Israel to give the keynote address. Rav Natan learned from Rebbe Nachman’s student’s student’s student’s student’s student. He brings great depth of knowledge and humor to his very authentic interpretation of Rebbe Nachman’s teachings.

We will be honoring Larry and Cindy Halpern, who have given so much to our community, and have always done it with joy. We will also recognize two of our most committed volunteers, Roz Dorf and Ovadiah Jones.

Join us for an evening of Joy and Growth.~ contact our office at executivedirector@boulderaishkodesh.org or 303 442 2497 for more details.

About Raj

Raj works with many local and national Jewish organizations including Hebrew High, Bonai Shalom, Aish Kodesh, Nevei Kodesh, Tuv HaAretz, Limmud Colorado, Teva, and Hazon. He is also teaches individual and partner yoga.

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