This week, The Mirror is getting personal. I’m not really sure how it happened, but all of our writers this week added a little tinge of personal history to their stories. I feel like I’m consistently sharing those deep personal secrets with my very limited readership — although apparently I have 43 followers on Newsle who receive these little literary gems each week (hi Dad). I love the issues in this week’s edition because I have some personal stake in each and every one of them. As a former athlete-turned-NARP and a practicing Jew, the centerfold on faith and sports touched a lot of issues I haven’t grappled with since freshman year. It’s been challenging for me to find a religious community here — when I came to Dartmouth I tried to get involved with Hillel and Chabad, but they weren’t really my scene. Whenever I’m home and attend Shabbat services I’m reminded of how much my faith means to me, and it saddens me that I have been unable to find that here at college.
Last week, I attended Yom Kippur services at Dartmouth for the first time since freshman year. I didn’t have high expectations, having attended before and been highly disappointed, but I thought I’d give it another shot. Before the service began, a tremendous violinist played the Kol Nidre, arguably one of the most important prayers in Judaism, for those congregated in Rollins Chapel. I was unabashedly moved to tears. Here I was in a crowd of strangers singing prayers and connecting in a way I hadn’t thought possible outside of my own little Jewish community back home. This connection with members of my faith, with whom I shared very little else, got me thinking about some of the major issues I’ve had at my time at Dartmouth and how my identity is tied to the mistakes, successes and relationships I’ve made in my college career. While many of us do so many interesting and creative things with our time here, whether through Greek life or athletics or religious groups, we must realize that it is the amalgamation of them all, instead of the pieces themselves, that construct and form our identities.