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August 11, 2003 - Image 3

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2003-08-11

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N E
Shabbat dinners provided
sense of community, culti

W S The Michigan Daily - Monday, August 11, 2003 - 3
I Win lose or draw

By Victoria Edwards
and Zachariah Rodgers It's one
Daily Staff Reporters and anoth
Law school alum Daniel Hadar so far awa
said he had no idea at first that his To spend
small Shabbat dinners would acc u- a d
mulate over 1500 people over three mitzvah'
years. He said he merely went
around inviting people - anyone
really to his house for Shabbat -
and it took off from there.
"We're Jewish. The Friday night "During the
Shabbat meal is to mark the Sab- meet and invi
bath to reflect on the week. A lot of mail addresses
people have small family dinners. 20 or so e-ma
We felt strongly about opening our invite people
home and having a community- when I'ld go
based affair. Anyone I'd meet at the everyone thei
law school - anywhere, I would with about 20
invite people," Hadar said. and head out ts
Shabbat, a Jewish traditional dinner ing on Oakland
that takes place at sunset on Friday After every
night, is a time for a Jewish family to said they w
meet together and give prayers and where he wou
songs of thanks for the week. and tell jokes.
But Jason Toranto, a Medical Stu- would start
dent at the University who has attend- bring out disht
ed the dinners twice, said students explain the sig
who are further away from home have He said his
no one to spend Shabbat with. everything; sh
"It's one thing if you're from lah loaves. Sh
West Bloomfield and another thing used for Jews
if you're like me from Texas - so so she made n
far away you can't spend Shabbat at Eastern and Sp
home. To spend that with someone " I'ld share
is wonderful it is a mitzvah," said they were brin
Toranto. would explain
Hadar said they would welcome mean," Hadar
Shabbat by singing songs. Towards He added t
the beginning of the dinners, which something i
started three years ago, roughly 10- about the wee
12 people would come a week. focal point i
Towards the end he said that number meal. Everyc
grew to roughly 20 people a dinner. learn about es
OPERA Sheng, wh
said up until t
Continued from Page 1 likely career c
a curiosity about the subject - the not, however,
life of Madame Mao, who came to so he picked
hold a high position of power during auditioned. Cc
China's communist rule after marry- seven years co
ing ruler Mao Zedong. and learning
The work is also significant to music on the b
Sheng because Madame Mao and the Cultural R
China's Cultural Revolution, which Mao dead and
took place from 1966-1976, had a ed, Sheng sai
large impact on his life. knew was mu
He said Madame Mao's story not musician.
only has all of the right ingredients He also tea
for an opera, but that it also affect- who said he
ed millions of Chinese people. young people
"She was responsible for me to opinions and r
become a musician in an indirect tance of passin
way," he said, explaining that after lessons he tear
junior high school at the age of 15, to the next get
young people during the time were honored by the
sent to the countryside to become title Leonard
farmers. "Everyone had to go, and guished Univen
it was for life, everyone had to go "I love my
except for if one had any talent in "Sometimes I
performing arts," he said. lessons and s
Young people exhibiting skills in dents, to teach
I the performing arts were exempt, to get their o
and instead participated in the have a dilemi
entertainment business, he said, the will tell me whl
"propaganda sector" which Madam Sheng adm
Mao organized. received attent

:hing if you're from West Bloomfield
her thing if you're like me from Texas -
ay you can't spend Shabbat at home.
that with someone is wonderful, it is a
-Jason Toranto
Medical Student

course of the week I'd
ite people. I'ld get e-
and shoot out maybe
ils. I'ld continuously
up to Friday night
to Hillel and invite
re. I'ld march home
people following me
o our apartment build-
I," Hadar added.
one had come Hadar
ould have Kiddush
ild welcome everyone
Then the actual meal
and his wife would
es of which she would
nificance.
wife Dena cooked
e baked 6 or 7 Chal-
e is Safaric - a term
of Spainish origin -
ative Safaric Middle
anish dishes.
with everyone. While
ging out the dishes I
what different foods
said.
hat if anybody had
nteresting to share
k that would be the
n the middle of the
ne got to share and
ach other and reflect
had studied piano,
hat time it was not a
hoice for him. He did
want to be a farmer,
the other option and
onsequently, he spent
mposing, performing
about Chinese folk
'order of Tibet. When
evolution ended with
Madame Mao arrest-
id "the only thing I
sic." So he became a
ches. The professor,
enjoys being around
values their honest
recognizes the impor-
ng on knowledge and
ned from his teachers
neration. He has been
e University with the
d Bernstein Distin-
rsity Professor.
students," he said.
take my work to my
how them to my stu-
, to use as examples,
pinions. Sometimes I
ma and my students
at they like."
nitted that he has
ion from national and

on the week.
"I would describe it as very
familial, structured but relaxed,
comfortable and welcoming. It was
a good opportunity for me to see an
orthodox Shabbat dinner like that
and learn some stuff about Jewish
culture because Dan would talk
about that," said Eric Bailey, a Law
student who attended two Shabbat
dinners.
These large Shabbat dinners not
only served as a form of community
for Jewish people around the Uni-
versity, Hadar said but also deter-
mined his plans to move to
Washington.
They said they threw a Shabbaton
- a very large Shabbat dinner - in
Washington, D.C. where they rented
out the former Italian Embassy and
had about 600 people there.
Although the couple didn't do the
cooking they ran it. The large degree
of interest and participation in the
area was one reason they decided to
move to D.C. to practice law.
"We threw it out there to see if
people were interested. It was a trial
run. We were shocked how many
people came in February. When we
saw how much interest there was we
decided to move there."
international audiences for his
recent opera, but said the attention
does not change the way he lives
his life.
He may have people flying in
from Europe to see the opera and
haven been invited to appear on
PBS' The News Hour with Jim
Lehrer this past weekend, but Sheng
said he just keeps doing what he
likes to do.
"It doesn't change me, I'm still
what I am. I still have to write
every note, show up at my classes, I
care about my students - I still do
the same thing," he said.
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Anna Sterling sits for a caricature by artist Ken Crouse on August 8, 2003
at the Dexter Daze art fair that takes place in Dexter, Ml.

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