Summer flew by too quickly, and we didn’t get everything accomplished (including the work on this new website) but ready or not, the new semester is here!

It’s an exciting time to meet the new freshmen class, and see returning students again. Thank G-d, and the students who came out, we had a full house (relative to an Opening Weekend Shabbos) on Friday Night, with 30+ freshmen (and a few transfers, too) with a wonderful vibe and atmosphere. The “Shalom Aleichem” (welcome) song had multiple meanings! Rabbi Mendel shared his “Barrel Race” message, there were a number of event announcements and L’chaim President Eliot H. introduced the L’chaim Board.

We look forward to getting to know the freshman class better over the next few weeks. As in past years, it usually takes until Sukkot for the class to people to trickle in, for the class to gel, and for many wonderful friendships to form. The High Holidays are indeed around the corner, but at Shabbos House we especially look forward to Sukkot and Simchas Torah!

Shabbat morning we were in for a pleasant surprise: We had an easy Minyan within a few minutes of 10am! Hope we can keep u the trend, but we did enjoy a nice line-up of students leading the davening and reading Haftorah. Quite a few freshmen came out for lunch, (especially the dependable LLC crew) remarkable for their first weekend on campus. Over Lunch Rabbi Mendel shared a telling story of the Baal Shem Tov as it was Chai Elul, the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov and the Alter Rebbe. We did a quick Mincha after Lunch (old-timers: there was no need for ambush).

We thought that Seudah Shlishit would be small. But nearly 5 tables filled up. We had light foods, salads and dips, plus a big bowl of “Awesome Sauce” (thanks Rachel M. ’13 for naming that) and one of our last “Ding-a-ling” Pirkei Avot study sessions. One freshmen student had just arrived, and was barely in Shabbos House 10 minutes and already “calling in” with two wonderful Mishna insights. We had a great run going around the room, students sharing their favorite Mishna in chapters 3 and 4, with some commentary from one another, and the “talk-show host” Rabbi Mendel.

What an opening weekend Shabbat! Thanks to all for participating, for being a part of it, for making this campus community and our Shabbos atmosphere so special.