SO WHAT IS RUACH?
Literally, ruach translates to spirit. Yet at convention we use this word to describe huge sessions of singing Hebrew songs and chants. Led by our Rel/Ed and Ruach Co-Chairs, we read out of the B'kol Echad, the USCJ's bencher, adding extra words, hand motions, and chants to make songs our own. These singing sessions happen three times at convention, with two sessions of fast ruach and one session of slow ruach (aka slowach). All sessions are followed by the singing of Birkat Hamazon.
Fast Ruach happens during Shabbat on Friday night and Saturday after kiddush. For these sessions, we create a circle from tables and chairs as the region is led by CRUSYites chanting in the middle of the circle. Seniors stand on the floor and bang on the tables while all other USYers stand behind them on chairs. Our Rel/Ed, Ruach Co-Chairs, E-Board members, and chosen people from the region lead us in the chanting of their songs as loudly as possible. USYers without named positions can be chosen to lead a song for a year by getting the song "passed down" from a previous USYer.
After Saturday night dinner, but before havdalah, our region congregates in the soft singing of our Slow Ruach songs. These songs are often more spiritual, and this session is taken very seriously by most CRUSYites. This is widely considered people's favorite part of convention. In these sessions, our region will lay down on the floor, often on top of one another, and beautifully sing hymns led by our Rel/Ed and Ruach Co-Chairs. This singing is immediately followed by Birkat, Ma'ariv, and Havdalah.
HOW DO I LEARN RUACH SONGS?
While ruach can only truly be learned through experience, you can practice songs outside of convention. Go on our Soundcloud for tracks of all our ruach songs. You can also go on YouTube to find videos of full slowach sessions.
For the YouTube Video