[Video below.] Senior Don Greenberg was looking forward to addressing his fellow students as a commencement speaker at Binghamton University’s engineering school when the bad news arrived: May 16, graduation day, falls on Shabbos, the Jewish Week reports.
A triple major from Teaneck, N.J., with a 3.93 GPA, Greenberg is an Orthodox Jew.
When 2,500 students and their families gather on the upstate New York campus for the Watson School of Engineering graduation on Shabbos, Greenberg will still take his place at the podium. And on jumbo screens on either side of the stage, he will watch himself deliver the graduation address he taped in the university’s video studio three days earlier.
It is nearly the same speech he submitted weeks ago, about setting meaningful goals, which won him the honor of addressing his fellow graduates. Added more recently: an introduction in which he explains why he’s standing before them silently watching a video of himself addressing them.
“So, this is awkward,” his video begins. He goes on to explain how on Shabbat he must leave the workaday world behind and refrain, from cooking, driving and – the 22-year-old computer science major emphasized – “a microphone.”
“I am inexpressibly thankful to the school for going above and beyond to accommodate this central part of my life, and for ensuring that I could still deliver a meaningful speech to the Watson class of 2015,” he says, and then jokes: “I know it will be meaningful, because I get as many tries as I want.”
WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:
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