With intentions renewed, we were now ready to get dirty and start rebuilding homes. The work was different, as it demanded our attention for using tools which the average university student has probably never touched in his or her lifetime, but it was fun and safe when guided by experienced leaders. By the end of the day making cement was a no brainer, chopping wood was easier than cutting fruit, and recoiling the measuring tape wasn't as scary anymore. But most importantly, we brought a service here to our neighbors in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Yet, our construction for the day was far from over. We headed back to the Chabad house (after showering in local athletic centers) and began building our interfaith "bridges". Paralleling Martin Luther King Day, our theme for the night was justice and we explored its role in our Jewish and Muslim lives. The conversation was preambled by a professor and advisor from Hendrix College who provided deeper insight on Little Rock's history in social justice. As we analyzed and reflected on the selected passages from our faiths' religious scriptures, many of us were amazed at the similarities we shared, and I'm talking about commonalities far beyond the surface level.
A day of dialogue, service, and friends; now that's a great start to a hopefully even greater week!