Perhaps you have had this experience of waking up to a colorful sunrise or watching a sky fill slowly with stars until the heavens are sparkling with diamonds. Being in camp as many of our Beth Emet kids and teens are, the opportunities to appreciate the beauty and the power (sometimes in storms) of this world are abundant. Being in a Jewish camp, these moments often bring our connection to the world and to God alive. We sing about how awesome our world is in the prayer Mah Rabu
, how amazing are God’s works, all created with such wisdom. We add meaningful hand motions to familiar prayers that we sing at Beth Emet Beit Sefer, and often compete to be the most spirited group of campers.
Conversations about how we can create Shalom (peace) between ourselves and our friends or how we can ask for time alone when we live with people 24/7 point to growing understanding of ourselves and of our impact on others around us. Today in a mindfulness session, my tenth graders shared their thoughts about how a rock can be a metaphor for God, as our strength and protector, as an inner core of confidence, and as our connection to the earth and the world around us.
Perhaps these are some of the reasons that over 40 Beth Emetites are or will be at OSRUI
this summer, and many others of us are growing at other Jewish camps. And yes, when I say us, I too am writing to you from a Jewish summer camp where I am continually working on my own middot, character and soul traits.
With wishes for a gentle and peaceful Shabbat,
Director of Lifelong Learning