Shabbaton focuses on mind-body-spirit
by Carol Moore

     What an incredible day of spiritual awakening, self-discovery and bonding in friendship. It doesn't seem possible that so much could be accomplished in just one day, but it was.
     On August 22, 2009, approximately 24 or so fortunate congregants gathered at the "Pomerosa," Donald and Carolyn Pomeranz's beautiful beach house in Caret Bay. In this exquisite setting, we started our day by practicing Yoga on the beach, stretching, strengthening and relaxing our bodies among the plam trees and gently lapping waves.
     The Shabbat service that followed on the deck of the house was filled with music. Following the incredible voice of Diane Becker Krasnick with Rabbi Shimon Moch, we chanted and kept rhythm with all kinds of percussion instruments. The effect was inspiring and deeply spiritual. The beauty, simplicity and repetitiveness of the music were meditative and very effective in helping to shed our usual worries and stresses and move us closer to our creator.
     Of course, these activities consumed much energy, so the next logical activity was lunch. Everyone contributed to the meal and we feasted on some delicious food, among lively chatter and fellowship, all the while keeping one eye on the beauty of our surroundings. It could not have been better.
     Afterwards, we moved on to an interesting exercise presented by Phillip Levy in which we were placed in groups, given photographs and asked to convey our impressions of the photos and create stories around them. Our perspectives were challenged, our senses were sharpened, and through this exercise, we learned a lot about ourselves and about each other. The stories ranged from very serious to hysterically funny.
     All good things, unfortunately do come to an end, but there was a grand finale. Gary Rosenthal led the group in exercises designed to promote relaxation, release energy and contribute to overall well being.
     It was a lovely day designed to bring us closer to God and to one another. Thank you to everyone who made this wonderful day happen, especially Rabbi Moch who was the driving force behind this innovative observance of Shabbat.