When our campers come together for Shabbat each week, one group leads the community in prayer. From Olim to Nitzanim, our campers sing out, pray, and listen to each others thoughts on camp and the Jewish value of the week. On this Shabbat, our last Shabbat of the 2016 Summer, we reflect on the delight of each unit and how they see the bubble and world they live in.
The next prayers are the Shema and the V’ahavta. In the Shema, the words instruct us to listen to each other and to God. In low ropes at camp, we did an activity where one person was blindfolded and their partner had to guide them through the ropes course only using words. The person that was blindfolded was dependent not only on their partner but also on themselves. Words are very powerful but the power to listen and have Kavannah is even more. As we move into the Shema, close your eyes and think about the meaning of the words that we are reciting as a community.
-Rachie L, Lower Bonim Session 1
We have spent a lot of time talking about truth – or Emet. We have learned that speaking truthfully plays an important role in our lives and that lying is a slippery slope that almost always leads to getting caught. Silent prayer gives us the time to think back and reflect on the things we have done – good and bad. It can also be the time when we think of ways to make up for the things we’ve done… or the lies we’ve told. During this moment of silent prayer, take a moment to think about your mistakes, but don’t spend too much time there, quickly move to think about how you can do it better next time, how your telling the truth leads to more positive outcomes, to a better world.
-Lexi, Olivia and Margie, Lower Chaverim Session 1
Hakarat Hatov, Gratitiude
Today we are exploring the theme Hakarat Hatov which means noticing the good. The prayer Modim focuses on thankfulness. We can be thankful for the things that we have noticed that are good. We are thankful for all of the good things we have and can do at camp like work with a friend to sail or canoe at the lake, or to complete the ropes course. Please think about how thankful you are for the things we have noticed at camp as we sing Modim together.
-Becky & Hannah, Lower Bonim Session 1
During the prayer Ahavat Olam, we think about God’s love for us and our love for God and and God’s love for the Jewish people. Like family and friends, they love and protect us and we protect God’s name by doing acts of tzedek. When we love people, we treat them with tzedek.
-Ella & Lily, Nitzanim Session 1
This week’s theme is Yirah. One translation of this word in English can be wonder and being in awe. And the Hashkivienu prayer asks God to protect us and keep us safe throughout the night. We are really lucky to have each other as friends. We are also really lucky to be in the bubble, because we are kind to each other. We are all connected to this week’s value, because of the way God protects us and we protect and care for each other.
-Becca, Jaime and Maya, Lower Chaverim Session 2
This world has too little Shalom. We keep on fighting over things like skin color, religion, and the gender of who you marry. We should stop this bickering and use our time to stop war. Ironically, most wars break out because of fighting over things that can be solved in other ways. Shalom Rav asks us to stop the bickering and there won’t be war to begin with. If we do this, then maybe we will truly have shalom.
-Marissa, Upper Bonim Session 2
In the Shema, we say that God is One. In camp, we are all doing stuff together with our bunk. You are usually never not with your bunk. That means that you and your bunk are one. To me, the oneness I feel at camp is Ruach – it’s what I look forward to all year round.
5 years ago, we were 3 little Bonim campers making a speech, trying to figure out what camp really meant to us. Here we are, 5 years later with tons of amazing stories to tell. The memories and the friendships we have made will last a lifetime. I don’t know where I would be without these two, who have been by my side thought these past 5 years. I know when I leave these amazing people, the memories we have made will never leave us. Enjoy every moment spent at this amazing place because before you know it it will be over in the blink of an eye.
–Dani, Sky and Zain, Olim Session 2