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Student perspectives

Pink Shabbat at Chabad

    I was raised in a large Jewish community in Dallas, Texas. I attended a Jewish day school and celebrated Shabbat meals every Friday evening with family and guests from the Jewish community. My parents always preached of the importance of a strong Jewish foundation, but I never understood what that meant, in large part, because it was all I knew. However, when my aunt, Margot Pulitzer z”l, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, my parents’ words suddenly became all too relevant. With four children, all under the age of eighteen, the Jewish community stepped in and assisted our family in every way possible, constantly bringing meals and offering to carpool my cousins to school and extra-curricular activities. My family was not alone in our battle, that was for sure.
    Although my aunt lost her battle with Breast Cancer a little over a decade ago while I was still in elementary school, I am amazed and honored to see the Jewish community still gather together to commemorate her blessed memory while I am in college. I have Chabad to thank for this. Ariela and Rav Johnson have a profound influence on the perpetuation of Jewish ideals by providing a home-like sanctuary for Jewish students to congregate every Friday evening. In preparing for Pink Shabbat, Ariela went above and beyond in sorting complimentary decoration fitted for the theme, not only for the ambiance, but also to personalize the event so that no can look at any given corner of the room and forget what we are gathering for, Breast Cancer awareness. After the diagnosis of my aunt, I saw the prominence the Jewish Community plays in my life, and I am so grateful that Chabad, especially in a college campus where one can feel so lost, serves as pathway for me to maintain this sense of community.

Noa Waks is Volunteer Coordinator on the Chabad Executive Cabinet.

Eating and a Jewish Journey

For nearly five years, my diet has reflected my evolving identity.

After a brief vegetarian episode in the eighth grade, I reverted to eating meat for two years before making vegetarianism a permanent ideology. Recently, I took the next step and adopted a nearly vegan diet, eating milk, butter, and eggs only when they’re cooked into pasta, baked goods, and casserole-type dishes.

My reasons have varied between animal rights activism to plain disgust to guilt and back. At least several times. but never did I think that my diet would reflect my evolving Judaism.

In fact, meat-eating is not uncommon in the Torah, nor is animal sacrifice. G-d even tells Abraham to sacrifice his own son Isaac, so how can vegetarianism possibly reflect my relationship with G-d?

The more I learn about Judaism and the more I go to shul and the more I pray to G-d, the more I want to live my life “right” in His eyes and incorporate more of His laws of compassion and fairness (among others) into my everyday actions.

To me, this includes refraining from eating animal products and boycotting the violent meat, dairy, and egg industries. When I respect animals and my body in this way I chose, I feel like I’m better representing myself in G-d’s eyes.

Every day that I continue my diet, I strengthen my relationship with G-d, and every day that I practice Judaism, I strengthen my resolve in my diet.

 Meital Boim

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