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.