Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#BlogBOmer: Chesed B'Tiferet

Going slow with writing these blogs, but mostly making sure that I'm writing what I really mean...and that the examples I'm setting for myself in choosing my exemplars is on point: these people that I'm sharing/you're reading about really embody these particular qualities for me--and give me a higher level to aim for in the areas of each of these sefirot.

We've entered into Week 3 of the Omer at this point and the first day of each new week has the same focus: Chesed (acts of loving-kindness). I find this a bit comforting, knowing that each week starts off with acts of loving-kindness in each arena: it makes us focus on the positive first and foremost and then we move on from that bright point. Week 3's major focus is on Tiferet: a word that has many meanings--it can mean compassion, harmony (as we've cited in our #BlogBOmer examples), but it can also mean balance and beauty.  When thinking about the person to whom this blog is dedicated to, I realized that there could only be one real rockstar choice: Carly F(B!).

Shout-out to Erez (who is also an inspiration!)
P.S. Carly looks super kind and harmonious in this picture!

At almost every Hillel professional development conference, you can easily find me spending time with Carly--she is my conference person. She knows that the better party is always in our room (rather than down on the ground floor), that you can learn more in a half hour one-on-one conversation than you might in a two-hour planned session, and that you should always always always travel with a corkscrew (thanks Carly's mom!). 

I can't necessarily recall how I got involved with the crew at Illini Hillel, but I can say that my friendship with Carly has progressed past professional niceties and into something that I deeply respect. Trying to figure out how a program might work? Call Carly. Delving into marketing strategies? Carly. Figuring out what next steps there are for professionals to help train each other when at an equal level? Debate with Carly. Carly's always there with a smile, a joke, a hug, and a kind word. Her chesed is appreciated by all those who know her well, and so is her love of the Beatles!

I think that Carly believes that there's a certain pattern to the universe--that there's a way of balancing acts of loving-kindness with pragmatism in order to get a harmonious and compassionate campus. More often than not leading by example, Carly has been a part of the Lunch Table Experiment (see prior posts), is a part of the Hillel Mentorship Initiative (can't think of a greater mentor!), and really believes that the best professional development sessions are those that can further deepen our relationships with our students. I know that in my own way of interacting with students (I aim to be as non-judgmental as possible while simultaneously providing a safe space for communication), that I aim to be a part of this harmonious pattern. I also try to lead by example, emphasizing tzedek, g'milut chasadim, and kavod as three tenets of my own brand of Judaism (for the Hebraically-challenged: righteousness, acts of loving-kindness, and respect). 

A special end for this particular post: 


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