Posted by: chnightlife | February 3, 2009

Yud Shevat Farbrengen!


Yud Shvat @ Nightlife

By Ashirah Welton

Nightlife’s Yud Shvat Farbrengen was a greatly welcomed lifeline. From the moment that familiar e-mail popped up in the inbox, girls all over Crown Heights had plans for Wednesday night. Yud Shvat can seem like a “boy’s holiday” to girls living in Crown Heights, with the black hats swarming the streets, and even taking over that bastion of femininity, Beis Rivkah. A girl can feel a little bit lost in the sea of black and white. But with Nightlife’s amazing program, we had a place where we, too, could farbreng and connect to what Yud Shevat is all about. And thanks to the generous sponsorship of the CHJCC, the event was free. Yup, all the sushi, wraps, lasagna, salad and brownies one could want were on the house!

The girls started pouring in at 8:30, and kept coming all night.  Soon, the Nightlife Lounge which we are so fond was full to the brim, from sunny-colored wall to sunny-colored wall. Girls piled up plates full of delicious food and found their seats, crowding in around the tables set up for the farbrengen and curling up on the comfortable couches.

Rabbi Dov Yonah Korn, shliach at NYU, was the chosen ‘farbrengener’. Dressed colorfully as usual (he’s a self-avowed non-white shirt wearer), Rabbi Korn inspired and entertained a roomful of 130 young ladies. He spoke about “staying in the game”. We’ve got some serious advantages – we live in a place where G-d’s essence is, we’ve got souls that are naturally equipped to connect to G-d, and in Rabbi Korn’s words, we have a ‘seriously awesome Rebbe’.

We’ve got a couple of hurdles to overcome, however. The pain of being so close to the perfection of Geulah, and still having to contend with the concealment of G-d has a rather depressing effect on the Jewish spirit. We’ve all experienced that sluggishness. Rabbi Korn compared it to the feeling you get when you skip a day of exercise. It’s the spiritual equivalent of the “couch potato effect”. So how do we combat it and stay in the game?

Confidence, Regimen, Focus, and Demand. CRFD. (No, it doesn’t spell anything.) When you have confidence that you are a chossid carrying the Rebbe’s message, the knowledge that you are a player in this ‘game’, a regimen of achievable goals, and a focus on our mission in this world (two words: Dirah B’Tachtonim), combined with constant demand from Hashem for more of His revealed good, we can accomplish what our Rebbe wants, and stay in this game until we win!

Any farbrengen is lacking unless there are a sufficient amount of sidetracks, of course. Among those traversed upon that night were discussions about the connection we have to Hashem when His goodness is concealed (aka when bad things happen), instructions from Rabbi Korn to ‘argue’ with your mashpia, and – in one of the funniest of the personal stories we heard that night – what to do when you fall asleep on the subway. We all got ‘into it’ – many girls asked questions, others contributed their own opinions to what the Rabbi had to say. It was a real interactive experience.

Rabbi Korn farbrenged for two hours, an incredible two hours. What was it that girls liked the most about the farbrengen? “The energy in the room was great,” one participant said. “No one was hiding themselves.” “He’s the funniest rabbi I’ve ever heard,” said another. “When you get caught up in the repetitiousness of your daily schedule, it’s hard to get inspired by what you’re doing. Rabbi Korn makes the familiar seem fresh and new,” explained Sara, who was really glad to have made it that night.

Most girls stayed for a couple of hours afterwards, catching up with friends, or holding mini-farbrengens at the tables, on the couches, or tucked into the pillows on the carpet at the back of the room. Everyone looked glad to be back. The Nightlife volunteer sheet was full of signatures by the end of the night.”I’m really looking forward to what they’ll be doing next!” said Sara. “And I signed up for the emails, so I’ll be in-the-know from now on.”

Well, in the opinion of the girl writing this, being in the know about Nightlife is definitely something you want to be! We’re all eagerly anticipating the next invitation to join our fellow Crown Heights dwelling females for a night of great entertainment and inspiration in the oasis of Nightlife.

Next Nightlife Event: This Motsai Shabbos, Feb.14, in honor of our Rebbetzin!

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Yud Shevat Farbrengen!


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