Shabbat shalom, Camp Stein family and friends!
I know you already know this since you’re reading on our blog, but Camp Stein is a pretty incredible community. For the past four weeks, I have had the incredible opportunity to learn, pray, and create kehila kadosha (sacred community) with our campers and staff. While us staff (and a few of our campers) have several more weeks left of the summer, it’s hard for me to believe that we’re coming up on our last Shabbat of first session.
One of my friends turned to me yesterday and said, “I really like Shabbat. It helps me to divide off the rest of the week.” I’ve been thinking about this idea what it means for Shabbat to be a kind of gate from the rest of the week, especially with our session ending so rapidly. This summer, we have talked a lot in our limmudim (Jewish learning) about what it means to pray with our feet, to match our liturgical lives with dedication to pursuing acts of justice in the world.
Whether I am at camp or back home in NYC, I sometimes find myself getting so caught up in the world around me – who texted me, what I’ll have for lunch, what episode of One Tree Hill I have to finish – that I’m not sure when I’m actually praying with my feet versus just walking through the world.
The cool thing about Shabbat, in my opinion, is that whether or not we want it to, Friday night happens. The sun will set and will rise again the next day, and so on and so forth. Through observing, participating in, and celebrating Shabbat, we infuse that intention into our lives that is so lacking during the every day week. Here at camp, we dress in clothes that we don’t normally wear, sing new songs, and even eat our chef Moe’s delicious strawberry salad. But, it’s more than that. Shabbat at camp is also about taking the time to recognize the people who have made our week that much more exciting. Maybe we’ll write a Shabbat-o-gram to a friend who helped us out at an activity area, or sit next to a new person at Friday night dinner.
The point is, I believe, that on Shabbat, we do something different for the very reason that my friend pointed out to me. Shabbat is a time for recognizing what happened the previous week. Maybe it’s through this act of recognition and reflection that we realize that type of praying we want our feet to do in the upcoming week.
Emily Rogal (Judaics Director 2016)