Appreciating Our Differences Together

In Michtav M’Eliyahu (Strive for Truth) in the essay on Why The Righteous Suffer, Rabbi Dessler points out that Hashem in His kindness gives us the capability to achieve the ultimate heights of awareness and experience the greatest degree of happiness possible for a created being. Not only that, but He enabled us to experience the unending delights of the spiritual world as something we can earn and therefore truly own. We can feel that we deserve it, because we earned it.

Hashem goes even further by giving each of us a unique appearance, personality, mental capacity and environment so that our individual service is unique throughout all of history. We each have the ability to give our own unique speech in praise of Hashem on a daily basis.

At the two past Shabbatons we gave everybody the opportunity to speak for a maximum of 10 minutes. In Passaic, somebody commented that this was a brave thing to do given that we hadn’t heard the people speak before- how would we know if they would be good? As it turned out all the speeches were good. Why? Because everybody shared a little about themselves. Not necessarily their “story”, but something personal, something unique, something that let us understand and appreciate them a little better.

That’s the beauty of the Shabbaton, we get to meet and connect with others. Whether by hearing them take the floor for 10 minutes or by just shmoozing for a few minutes at the meals, the oneg or the Melava Malka. We get the opportunity of becoming a part of somebodies life story as they become a part of ours.

Some people have asked why we’re doing this Shabbaton jointly with Serandez. The main reason is that participants in both communities share the common focus of discussing important topics, improving ourselves and improving our communities. That’s the tie that binds and those are the ties we need to continuously strengthen.

A close friend of mine is making a Chasana and they needed to pare down their list. They used the criteria of having at least shared a Shabbos Meal with the person or family. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of sharing a Shabbos together. It is a catalyst to enlarge our world and help others enlarge theirs.

With that being said, here are some details about the BeyondBT/Serandez Shabbaton:

– The Shabbaton is being held on Shabbos Nachamu, August 15-16 in Kew Gardens Hills, with the meals being held at Congregation Ahavas Yisroel.
– The cost of the Shabbos is $50 per person for 3 catered meals, an Oneg Shabbos and a Melava Malka.
– Family discounts and special situation discounts are available.
– We will find accommodations for those who live outside of Kew Gardens Hills.
– Please RSVP us with your email and cell phone at if you are hoping or planning to come so we can plan appropriately. Also email us with any suggestions.