The thing I always love about Limmud is the sheer number of times every day that my world is completely rocked by brilliance. In any normal weekend (or week, for that matter) how many times do you hear or see something that leaves you awe-inspired? I don’t mean in a particularly religious way, I just mean, in the way where you learn something that is so smart that you’re left gobsmacked. In my regular life, I’d say that happens, at most, twice a month. At Limmud, it happens at least once a day, and if you choose your sessions well, it can happen five or six times a day.
I don’t mean to sound too gushy, and I do have some complaints. But for the most part, this Limmud, like the ones I’ve attended in the past, has been incredibly moving.
This morning I went to a session taught by Judy Klitsner about the sacrificing of Isaac, the sacrificing of Ishmael, and how those stories relate to the book of Job. In reading the description of the session, it frankly seemed like a stretch to me. I just did not see how she was going to make the connection. But she did, and it was brilliant. So brilliant, that at one point the room went quiet and I heard someone say, “Whoa,” in that ‘hold on a sec because my brain just exploded a little bit’ kind of way.
Last night I had a similar experience in a class taught by Rabbi Ethan Tucker about whether or not itâ€™s okay to pray in a language other than Hebrew. And in between I did some serious schmoozing, drinking, and laughing with Limmudniks from all over. Also, I got to hold a few cute babies, flirt with a neurologist, watch a movie, sing zemirot, listen to stand up Jewish comedy, and oh yeahâ€”learn some stuff.
Moral of the story: Limmud 2011 is just a year away. Start preparing now.