I am always looking for topics that relate to people on a less academic level. So Patrick shared with me what I think is an enlightened thought. He said, “I was thinking about how in every generation there are “houses”…the hippies had crash pads, punk rockers had house venues, queer people have the queer house movement and how in the Jewish world you now see the Moishe Houses.”
I love the idea of group spaces in houses. I live in what is called a shotgun house. It is so called, supposedly, because if you shot a shotgun though the front door, it would come out the back door. Our house has two side rooms added, but they are small. The point of explaining this is that four of us live in a house with only one real bedroom and a finished attic room. One of us live in the laundry room. One of us live in a “pod”, which is a short of loft room in the room that is on the way to the bathroom. These “house” sort of situations are occurring more and more, I think in my generation. I believe this because of the people I interact with. Patrick was right when he said, “this [“house” movement is a] need for counter cultures to have “houses” of their own”.
I find it most interesting that many of these “houses” have names. It feels like are real community when this happens. My house is called Mulberry Manor. We, I feel, are counter culture in that we are creating a family unit to replace our dysfunctional relationships with our blood families. Our house is where people come to think and feel better. I think this is partly because our mantra is, “Mulberry Manor Loves You!”. We work to build a place that is really a family home and safe space. We also now have many young groups moving into our small in-city neighborhood which by default makes us into an interesting community.
You may ask how this relates to PunkTorah. What could this possibly have to do with the internet user, the blog readers? These ideas are a real reflection of what PunkTorah and OneShul are trying to create, a community of support. All those who participate are part of our community and we want them to feel part of a group and benefit from all the content and programs. Patrick pointed out that Moishe Houses are a physical reflection of many of the ideas of young, Jewish groups (for those who don’t know, Moishe House “supports and sponsors young Jewish leaders as they create vibrant home-based communities for their peers”). Patrick said that, “because Jewish college students are creating these unique houses, that shows that being Jewish today is, in a sense, counter cultural.” This belief is based on the idea that these houses are cropping up because these movements are rooted in this “house” concept.
I feel these new “house” movements are the next step in making our future one in which we all fit. I have found that the PunkTorah family of works have created a community, a home I can always come to. It is my virtual “house”. I can learn, express myself, and be involved in something on the front-line of change. What a wonderful world we might have if we can move these ideas forward.