But we were also in golus in other ways. From denominations, for instance. The battles among Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and other streams of Judaism are ongoing, bitter, and destructive (a friend wrote an interesting post about the end of this era that I recommend checking out). Here there was no such thing. Everyone from the most secular, strictly cultural Jew to a small crew of Satmar Hasidim gathered in our mutual love of all things Yiddish. Men and women, young and old...it was surprising and beautiful.
We were in golus from a sense of hierarchy as well. I have to admit, I was skeptical as to how the festival would run. But everyone pitched in and made it happen. Leadership rotated, fluctuated, and rarely settled in one person.
There were some really incredible moments throughout the weekend. Dancing with the Torah from one end of a field to the other. Marveling at the great masses of hay that descended from the sky, refuse from the farm next door which we all interpreted as manna from heaven. The moment we found out we were going to be in golus even from Golus because our camp site wasn't up to code for the number of people there (on Sunday morning we moved to another site for the music). Dancing with new friends. All these things and more.
Don't get me wrong, I will not miss the mosquitoes and eating mostly the same thing every day and the oppressive day-heat and the bewildering night-cold. But I have walked away with a renewed appreciation for, and a new vision of, exile.