There are two kinds of dates. Well, actually there are 613 types of dates, but to simplify things for this article, let’s say there are two: secular dates and spiritual dates. Date is here defined as doing something outside the home with another person who can be your date, mate, or significant other. Yes, even married people need to go on dates to keep their relationship solid. Something outside the home doesn’t include a trip to Home Depot or shopping of any kind, especially for jewelry, handbags or shoes.
Since most people lead generally mundane lives that include a dinner-date or a movie-date that belong in the secular dating category, it’s nice to change it up and consider a spiritual date. This isn’t all that difficult to do. It doesn’t require a trip to Tibet to meet the Dali Lama. Right in your own backyard there are many houses of worship to be found, and just about every denomination is represented. This means that you have ample opportunity to go on a spiritual date, but you probably never thought of it before. The benefit of the spiritual date is that it offers enlightenment as well as the opportunity to meet other people and engage in social discourse. Let’s face it, you’re not going to meet anyone new in a movie theater.
A unique spiritual-date idea came up in Ventnor, New Jersey when Chabad of Ventnor announced their new home, The Chai Center. Chai means life. The opening of a new house of worship is both inspirational and joyous. This opportunity arose when the Ventnor New Jersey Chabad was flooded out of their original strip-center facilities and needed to relocate. They purchased and renovated a former Episcopal church to produce a 10,000 square foot house of worship for their close knit community.
Because all are welcome, and because the group is engaging, over 250 people attended the grand opening. And grand it was. To begin, a magnificent array of Hors D’oeuvres and incredible desserts filled the social hall. Well, actually a bunch of hungry folks filled the social hall, and they were delighted by the assortment and quality of the offerings. Haven’t you always wanted to go to a wedding and just fill up on all those tasty Hors D’oeuvres and desserts and forget the formal meal? Everyone know the associated guilt that would weigh upon their mortal souls if they missed “the main course” because they filled up on nosh. It’s a huge taboo, like having cake or cookies before dinner, something your mother warned against when in your youth. This celebration was guilt free. Many folks stuffed themselves to the point of needing intravenous Alka Seltzer.
While food is important and appreciated, when the actual ceremony and dedication began, that was the highlight of the evening. Spiritual leader, Rabbi Avrohom Rapoport was a most gracious master of ceremonies. As usual, he displayed his iconic humor and his unique wisdom that has brought together, not only observant Jews, but a host of, let’s say, less knowledgeable Jews who want more out of life than just, “let’s have fun.” There does come a time in most people’s lives that the spiritual needs come to play a bigger role. Surely in the relative immortality of youth, one doesn’t think much about “life beyond,” but with age comes wisdom, and the closer you get to the “next world,” it become apparent that maybe it’s time to set aside worldly endeavors just a bit and get acquainted with your Maker.
Those who support the new synagogue, were recognized by name and presented with plaques honoring their involvement. A few short videos that were rather professionally produced described the world of Ventnor Chabad and those who make it happen. And there are a whole bunch of movers and shakers that make this all happen.
At the conclusion, the Chabad Dance Troupe came to the stage and performed their usual festive song and dance. Actually the dance troupe is not a rehearsed group. They are merely the spirited members who each and every day express their joy of life, religion and community. They truly celebrate Hashem and enthusiastically make everyone feel good.
This celebration was a most unusual, spirited and enjoyable date. The spiritual date takes your relationship to a higher level. You leave behind the drudgery of daily life and elevate yourself through payer and meditation. Give it a try!
Lovers and other strangers can learn more unusual dating ideas at the blog: http://www.whoyoudating.com
For a little more about Chabad in their own words: The Chabad Ventnor Shul is a warm community of people who join together each weekend for a dose of prayer and inspiration. We have an open door and no membership policy. We welcome Jewish people regardless of affiliation and knowledge.
Our services are filled with lively tunes and joyous dancing. We read selected verses in English and try to ensure that all participants feel informed and engaged during the services.
Each week congregants enjoy a captivating, educational and entertaining sermon from our rabbi which is sure to leave participants moved and inspired. After Davening the congregation is always rewarded with a delicious Shabbos Kiddush. For more information visit: http://www.chabadac.com
From Wikipedia: The Chabad movement represents an intellectual-mystical school of thought established and led by a dynasty of Hasidic rebbes. The movement was based in Lyubavichi (Lubavitch) for over a century, then briefly centered in the cities of Rostov-on-Don, Riga, and Warsaw. From 1940 until the present day, the movement’s center has been in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn.
In 1951, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson became the seventh Rebbe of Chabad-Lubavitch, and transformed it from a small chasidic movement into the largest and most widespread Jewish movement in the world today. He established a network of more than 3,600 institutions that provide religious, social and humanitarian needs in over 1,000 cities, spanning 80 countries and 49 of the 50 American states. Chabad institutions provide outreach to unaffiliated Jews and humanitarian aid, as well as religious, cultural and educational activities at Chabad-run community centers, synagogues, schools, camps, and soup kitchens.