By Miriam ROSE, Central St Martins, University of Arts London.
Between the hours of 6 pm to 12pm I can’t think of a single university student who would voluntarily and willingly attend lectures all through the night.
Not only attend these lectures, but run to excitedly discuss with other university students which lectures they wanted to go to all through the night, (the operable word being want) and go on to express jealously that another student was able to attend a lecture you had skipped in favour of another.
‘Oh, how unfair life is!’ I caught myself exclaiming when I found myself in this unfortunate position. In any other circumstance this situations is laughable, implausible and highly unlikely; unless you said these student were being bribed with brownies I wouldn’t believe you.
Welcome to the Jewish anomaly: Limmud.
From the moment you arrive at Limmud there are three things you quickly learn…
The first is there are never enough hours in the day. My initial dismay about staying in one location risking boredom for an entire week was quickly forgotten from day one. Don’t believe me? Prove me wrong!
The second lesson you learn is the awe inspiring and, dare I say it, divine intervention of coffee. I kid you not, Baruch Ha’shem, without this magic bean Limmud would be a faraway dream.
The third lesson is the most important; Limmud is what I like to call ‘me’ time. It is an opportunity to go away, broaden your mind, learn something new and partake in a little self-indulgence, a spiritual spa of sorts, if you will.
The personal lesson I took from Limmud arrived in a timely fashion: the inquisitive mind that I have, had some questions that needed answers.
Now, I’m not suggesting Limmud has all the answers about Judaism and faith, nor has Limmud cemented my loyalties to a specific Judaic sect such as Orthodox, Masorti or Reform.
However what Limmud has done is opened my 20 year old eyes and mind to ideas and concepts that had never previously been approached. It has put me in excellent stead, empowering me, the Jewish woman, student and community member that I am, to better understand what this religion I have inherited is all about.
Limmud draws Jews to Warwick like flies to a flame – it’s that simple. So, besides the chronic lack of sleep (averaging 3 hours a night if you were in the 19-25 range), the broiges between different Jews and all the ‘drama’ caused by controversial speakers, I can honestly say I had a fantastic time at Limmud this year.
It’s a rare opportunity in life when you can do precisely as you like, indulge in a little self-satisfaction, feed your mind and safely know there’s always a hot meal waiting for you.
Would I ‘do’ Limmud again? Yes, I most certainly will.