I’ve now given a d’var Torah (sermon) in Hebrew. It went pretty well, all things considered. It wasn’t my most amazingly A-game Torah, but it wasn’t bad, and people said nice things to me afterwards–so maybe they even meant it.
What was interesting is that I found myself making most of my eye contact especially with the people who, when it comes down to it, could really (imho) most benefit from the advice I was giving. I’ve never noticed myself doing that before. It certainly wasn’t conscious, but I also don’t think it was… not intended, on some level. Other preacher-types, you ever find yourself doing that?
The essence of the thing was about how big fancy mystical experiences really can only take you so far–to get to a more mature level of spiritual engagement, you have to be willing to focus less on your “spiritual life” and more on your relationships with others and making yourself vulnerable in them. Less monologue, more dialogue. Not really any major hiddush (er, new idea) but one of those time-tested truths that bears saying every now and again. Particulary when one is in rabbinical school, I daresay.
I’ll post it here (Hebrew only–sorry, not much time for translation) after I log in the corrections I made right on the page.
Anybody here know how to do the HTML equivalent of a LJ-cut? (The thing where you hide a bulky text under a link so that it doesn’t have to appear right on the main page?) I can think of long, annoying ways to accomplish this, but I’m sure there’s some decent HTML that could help with that. Let me know if you do.