Posted by: chnightlife | April 30, 2010

Lag B’Omer @ Nightlife

Nightlife Does Lag Ba’Omer

By Esther Chana Freeman

The alleyway was dark, narrow and rocky. At times could be lonesome if that is where one ends up.  But that was not the destination.   A few more steps and I would be there.  I knew I would be greeted with smiles and warmth that surpasses any expectation.  I braved that alleyway and walked through the gate enveloped by an ambiance of fire, music, energy and young welcoming hearts; quite the combination and ingredients for a perfect way to erase the memory of that alleyway.  There were young women of all different interests; Teachers, college students, writers, musicians, artists and the list goes on.  Though I’m sure there was not one person around that bonfire who thought the same, we were all bound together in unity and spirit on that glorious night of Lag Ba’Omer.  We danced, we sang, we talked, we laughed, we spoke words of Torah and of course we ate, but most of all we were together – each one adding their own to a blended harmony of individuals.  No, I didn’t know everyone on a first name basis, but I didn’t need to in order to feel uninhibited as if I knew them all.  This is Nightlife, this is the place where I go to meet friends, learn new insights on life, light or compelling thoughts on Torah and Chassidus, and without a doubt have a great time.  At Nightlife there’s a calming vibe to just be. To each of us, Nightlife is the place where every personality is encouraged to contribute in her own individual way and where all feel their “palate” is catered to. Once again this past Lag Ba’Omer, Nightlife did what it does best – It’s the place where everyone matters and where there are matters for everyone.

Though I am married now and one of the few at Nightlife who are, it was “my place” before I got married and so it is to all who make it their own.  Two years ago when I first encountered Nightlife, I was so impressed with how well organized it was and how it catered to all tastes of the young women in Crown Heights.  There were times I would go and wouldn’t come home ‘til the sun came up because I didn’t want to leave the undeniable atmosphere of camaraderie.  We still joke about it today, how when the ‘official’ Nightlife was over we would linger there sharing stories, playing music, dancing and enjoying each other’s company.  Eventually that part of Nightlife became known as the “Afterlife.”  Oh, how I am so nostalgic about those days.  Most of the friends I have today are from that first summer of Nightlife; a summer that still affects my life ‘til this very day.  All of them flew down to Miami for my wedding and only after knowing them for only a few months. Some friends come and go, but my friends from Nightlife are everlasting.

Even though I am not able to attend all the Nightlife events, I still enjoy receiving the weekly emails and always love to know how Nightlife is thriving.  When I hear success, I feel as if I was successful.  I am very blessed to have a husband who supports Nightlife as well and is excited about it just as I am.  I have Nightlife to thank for creating a place where I was able to learn what I couldn’t elsewhere, express my artistic side and have friends to last a lifetime. It’s a pebble in a pond creating affective ripples to last forever.

I’m sure there are loads of young women who have what to thank Nightlife for like I do, but without certain individuals whom Nightlife wishes to thank, this article would have never been written. On behalf of all the Nightlifers from Crown Heights and beyond, I thank Moshe and Faige Rubashkin for founding Nightlife and for sharing their beautiful home with us week after week. Thank you to my in-laws, Rabbi Yehuda and Chaya Adel Freeman, for hosting the spectacular Lag Ba’Omer event in their backyard.  To all the supportive community businesses who regularly and generously sponsor the delicious dinners Nightlife is known for serving – Kingston Bake Shop, Q-Cumber, Dovid Malka, House of Glatt, Empire Grill, Bunch-O-Bagels, Mr. Green’s, Klein’s, Nosh World, Kahan’s, Empire Kosher, Esther’s Deli, Kosher Town, Café K – thank you for all you’ve contributed towards Nightlife’s success!!

When I left Nightlife at two in the morning on Lag Ba’Omer, I smelled like a bonfire, had way too many marshmallows, my voice was hoarse but it felt like the fire was still burning as I walked back through that alley again. What Nightlife accomplishes is too copious to enumerate.  For you, Nightlife could be the fun environment where you can just be, or the place to gather some great knowledge and acquire a certain depth of life; a combination unique to Nightlife alone. It could be the perfect place to meet new, beautiful and diverse young women or catch up with old friends… For me, Nightlife is the light that helps me trek through alleyways in my life.

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