Kallah: A Gathering

kallah music outdoors 2011

Kallah. A gathering.

In English it sounds like Kohelet, the one who assembles a kahal, a community.

Kohelet is the author (or at least the main character) of the biblical book Ecclesiastes, a philosophical work about life’s ups and downs.

Kohelet says:

I tried the path of joy.girl planting at kallah 2011

I tried the path of laughter.

I tried the path of wine.

I tried the path of making things with my hands.

I tried the path of acquiring exquisite things.

I tried the path of being in beautiful surroundings.

I even tried the path of learning and wisdom.

And guess what I discovered? Every path in life has something to offer.

Including the path of Kallah.

The ALEPH Kallah is a one-week whirlwind experience of much of what life has to offer.

teens jumping kallah 2013

At Kallah you can, in a single week, try the paths of joy, laughter, making things with your hands, acquiring exquisite things, being in beautiful surroundings, learning, wisdom and Shabbos wine.

Come and be in community because, as Kohelet says, “How can one body alone get warm?” (Yes, he really does. Ecclesiastes 4:11)

But seriously folks, visit the ALEPH Kallah website or facebook page. Kallah takes place July 1-7, at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire (USA). This year’s program offers forty-five incredible week-long classes about Jewish ideas, music, arts, and spirituality. Programs for teens and children. Creative connections for young adults. Healing. Shopping. Choirs. And even time to relax in beautiful surroundings.

Kallah is an opportunity to experience, through total immersion, Jewish Renewal people and practices at their best. This year’s theme is “Connecting with the Divine Within Us and Around Us” — and you don’t have to know, believe, or experience the Divine to have a great time.

By way of exploring the theme, I’ll be teaching a class called “Who is God?”  I promise it will be deep, fun, creative, thought-provoking, moving and non-dogmatic. But if you’ve been to my classes before, you know this.

Watch for a blog post previewing the ideas…

These and other photos from Kallah 2011 can be found on the Kallah fb page.

Rabbi Laura Duhan Kaplan is the rabbi of Or Shalom Synagogue, where she is involved in ritual, education, pastoral care, and administration.