Balance is interaction among being, feeling, thinking and doing. Superheroes integrate those four core stages of existence amid the turbulence of the world and daily activity, and in doing so, are able to creatively solve every challenge they are faced with and create an atmosphere of empowerment and love wherever they are. - Deepak Chopra
Camp is the place I go to block out the turbulence of the world.
Camp is the place where I go to help inspire the next generation of superheroes.
Camp is the place where I learned how to hone my ability to understand, connect, love myself and others, search, appreciate, problem solve and explore.
Camp is the place where I feel the most like me.
The Sh'ma is said by Jews across the world. Whether or not we have much in common beyond our connection to the larger fabric of Jewish history and people hood, this simple yet complex statement connects us deeply with our people and tradition. Listen to it. Listen to you. Listen to us. We are one. God is one. So - even just for a moment - block out all the other noise and be one.
Think about who you can be this summer and how you can help others become the best versions of themselves. Shabbat Shalom from camp. Staff week is awesome.
Plague. Rebellion. Tithe. No...I'm not talking about final exams before the proverbial bells sound to signal the beginning of summer break. In this week's parashah, we read the story of Korach (Numbers 16:1-18:32), who leads a rebellion against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. God punishes the rebels, brings a plague on the people, and we see the many challenges of leadership and faith.
Following this unrest, the chief of each tribe [of the people of Israel] deposits his staff inside the Tent of Meeting. Aaron's staff brings forth sprouts, produces blossoms, and bears almonds. (17:16-26) He is appointed as Cohen Gadol, high priest. After playing #2 to his brother Moses through their journey, Aaron is recognized for his leadership - an act that is important for both the people as well as himself.
As I am packing for camp and many of my friends and colleagues have already begun their staff training at camps across the country, I have been thinking about how we can show kavod (respect) and provide validation for the hard work our staff does throughout the summer. Where do we find our "sprouted almonds" amidst the busy schedules and activities at camp? We find inspiration and gratitude in different places and at varying times. Sometimes it's during an interaction or experience we have with others, and other times we may gain it independently.
A year ago, URJ 6 Points Sci-Tech Academy was a bunch of thoughts, plans, ideas and intentions. We then went on to create a new holy community - one for which I am extremely grateful to be a part of. While reading this piece of Torah a year ago, I was nervous and excited as I met new people and took on new responsibilities. Fast forward a year, and I am reading it again but with significant pride and knowledge that we will be continuing to add to the Torah and community that we created together. Quite the Shehecheyanu moment, indeed.
Along with the socks and bug spray, I am packing a few additional things this year. Gratitude for the talented people I have the opportunity to work with and learn from. Respect for the holy work that we get to do together, and what each one of us brings to the community. Recognition for the gifts and blessings that are abundant on our team. And a renewed sense of excitement and enthusiasm as I look forward to exploring, creating, building and discovering with my 6 Points Sci-Tech family.