This year’s retreat theme was “JEWISH HUMOR: SARCASM, STORIES AND SHTICK”. And as you might have guessed, many jokes were exchanged throughout the weekend. A few of them were even clean enough to repeat here.
Four rabbis are walking along. One of them remarks that while they hear so many secrets from their congregants, they don’t usually get a chance to confide their own indescrecions to anyone. One rabbi confesses that he has a huge gambling debt. The next rabbi confesses that he has a bit of a drinking problem. The fourth rabbi confesses he likes to visit prostitutes. Then the first rabbi chimes in with his vice - he is a terrible gossip.
As I mentioned last year, having a retreat in March means it sometimes occurs in the spring and other times in the winter. Like last year, this year's retreat was a winter one, with just enough sunshine to melt the snow and ice before freezing back up at night. This year’s retreat also unfortunately occurred the weekend that our clocks changed, which made Sunday morning a little more challenging than normal.
But we didn't let something like weather or clocks get in the way of having a wonderful time. We once again filled the camp, something that makes our Oak Park Temple retreat unique. While there are a now a few other congregations that book OSRUI for a family retreat, no other group fills every single bed the way we do. In fact, due to frozen pipes in one of the buildings, we had some attendees this year stay at nearby hotels.
Each year the retreat has a different theme, different programming. And yet some parts of the retreat are the same year after year - it's a great way to get to know fellow congregants and celebrate a true Shabbat away from the hassles of daily living.
A huge thank you to the Retreat committee who once again outdid themselves in creating a magical weekend for us all.