A Unique Shabbat Experience

Guest Blogger: Margalit Slovin, Ryerson Photography student

There are many opportunities to socialize on a Friday night but last
Friday night a unique group of people gathered in the Thomas Lounge at
Oakham House for a dinner. This Friday night dinner was the second
annual Multi-faith Shabbat dinner. It was run by Hillel and sponsored
by the President’s office. Groups that attended included Campus for
Christ and the Arab Students Association. Student members of the Board
of governors, as well as both Jewish and non-Jewish faculty, also

When I heard about this event, I was pleased to see the coexistence on
Ryerson’s campus. I find it promising that Ryerson is a home to so
many different nationalities and religions. The groups on campus offer
students a great outlet to meet other people with similar backgrounds
and beliefs. Furthermore, I am even more proud to call Ryerson my
University when I see that each group, despite their differences,
supports each other.

When I attended the dinner, I expected to just be silent at the table,
maybe make a bit of small talk to pass the time. However, I was
surprised at how much everyone interacted with each other. There was
not one person there that I could see that wasn’t interested in the
other person’s values and before I knew it, countless discussions
arose at the dinner table. Conversations quickly changed from the
usual “what program are you in?” to “what do you do for the Sabbath?”
Everyone engaged in asking each other questions as to why they
believed or practiced a certain way. I was able to see first hand that
one word meant so many different things from one person to the next.
Each person had a different idea of what resting and not working
really is. For some, it means not opening up a textbook or even
thinking about a homework assignment while for others it means
attending a religious service in an organized place of worship.  Both
secular and religious approaches were debated and all had validity.
I left the evening feeling that I had learned something new and am
hopeful for a similar encounter in the near future at Ryerson.


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