By Sharon Bleviss
Forty lucky congregants and friends joined together at the Sonoma Valley Inn for the 34th Annual Retreat in Sonoma. All were enlightened by scholar-in-residence Rabbi Elijah Shochet’s teachings on mysticism, truth vs. peace and the value of a human life.
In between learnings, Shabbat was celebrated as it can’t be at home–together in an organic service in the round. Breaking bread together bridged those activities, as all enjoyed the kosher catered meals. Of course, there was free time which gave folks the opportunity for taking long walks or catching a swim. On Friday night, the group gathered for a lovely ’tish’ filled with singing and sharing of stories. Saturday night, after a beautiful, intimate Havdalah, real troopers had fun playing Jewish trivia, replete with an audio round! Chocolate prizes were had by all, which fueled the hardiest souls to participate in Israeli folk dancing past 11:30 p.m.! As always, the closing friendship circle brought real emotions to the surface, as participants tried to hold onto a few more minutes of the magical weekend.
Here are some photos from the 34th annual retreat as a Flickr Slideshow.