It is hard to believe that our 50th summer season has come to a close. Highlights of CRB’s incredible Kayitz 2013 continue to replay in my mind as I marvel at the tremendous growth chanichim and tzevet accomplished. We are privileged to be part of a most powerful kehilla.
Camp is very quiet now and I am already yearning for the noise and vibrancy of our home in Wingdale. Just to reminisce a little more, watch the video created and produced in Machaneh Ramah for our final night peulah, “No Smoking“. There is no guarantee that parents will understand the content so just ask your kids for an explanation. Thank you again, for entrusting your most precious gift, your child(ren), to us this summer.
Rabbi Paul Resnick
During my last hinukh perek of the summer, I sat with a group of machon chanichim brainstorming about ideas for this week’s Dvar Torah. In Devarim 24:15, the Torah declares: והיה מחנך קדוש – and your camp shall be holy. As we read the verse out of context (you’ll have to look up the verse yourself to see what it is all about) we were immediately struck by its significance on the final few days of camp. What is it that makes our camp, or machanenu as it is sometimes affectionately called, holy? Some of the answers that the chanichim gave related to the community that is formed at camp, or how way we act with derekh eretz while in camp, or some unexplained feeling that we all share while at Ramah.
This first Shabbat after the summer season provides us with an opportunity to reflect in a different way on how camp is holy. The concept of holiness is a very amorphous one, but it is often helpful to think of holiness as separateness. Something is holy because it is separate and unique from the mundane. In a similar way to how Shabbat is holy because it is separate from the other days of the week, the time spent at camp is holy because it is separate and distinct from the rest of the year.
The comparison between Shabbat and camp brings to mind a wonderful teaching which appears in the Mekhilta of Rabbi Ishmael on the verse “Remember the day of the Sabbath to keep it holy” (Ex. 20.8): “R. Isaac says you should not count the days of the week in the manner in which others count them. But you should count them with reference to the Sabbath.” Counting the days of the week with reference to Shabbat concretizes its place as separate and unique from every other day. Even when it is not Shabbat we are constantly reminded that our special day is right around the corner and we must prepare for it appropriately. Like R. Isaac, many of us find ourselves counting the days of the year in a manner which is different from the way others count them…
Only 313 days until the first day of camp!
Dr. Jason Rogoff
Scholar in Residence
Can you believe how many incredible Shabbatot we had together? Celebrating Shabbat at CRB is different and last Shabbat we we explored what makes us different at camp. How can you bring some of those differences at camp home with you? What can you do to share what you learned about giborim or tzedakah with your friends and with your families at home? Can you do tzedakah at home? Can you find what makes your friends or parents heroic in ways that you hadn’t before? What about the things that we do at camp: shabbat, havdallah, tefillot? How can we bring camp home? L’hitraot b’Nitzanim 2014!!
Shabbat Shalom, Nitzanim! (Shabbat Shalom, Sass Panda!) I’m going to miss hearing your adon olam questions, reading Wayside School, and singing tzur mishelo with you this Shabbat. Whether you’re a “ba-ba” or a “na-na,” on Shabbat morning, I hope that you sing extra loudly for me during t’fillot even though we’re not together in Gan Gesher. Your madrichim and I miss you already, and we’re so excited to see you at our reunion and next summer. Thank you for a supersonic and electrifonic kayitz, and I hope that you’re already excited for Shorashim 2014! L’hitraot!
Bo-Bo-Bo–Boker Tov, (Bo-Bo-Bo-Boker Tov), Boker Tov L’Shorashim! Boker Tov Shorashim and Shabbat Shalom! I hope you are doing well and enjoying the rest of your summer! I’m going to miss not having peulat Shabbbat, hearing you read Torah, and doing Havdalah with you this Shabbat, but I hope you still celebrate Shabbat this week with just as much ruach as you did here! Your madrichim and I miss you SO much, but we can’t wait to see you at our reunion and next summer in Tzeirim! Thank you for an amazing summer! You are the most wonderful and awesome chanichim on the planet! Please keep in touch and start getting ready now for Tzeirim 2014! Shabbat Shalom.
I can’t believe that the season has come to and end! Reflecting on the past eight weeks, I am excited thinking about all the fun and learning our chanichim enjoyed! This last Shabbat was spent getting a taste of what will come next year… B-Side! The focus of Shabbat, Bnei Mitzvah, was incorporated into themes of B-side, responsibilities and growing older. Our chanichim began a process of reflection and looking forward as we entered the last few days of Kayitz 2013. After a Shabbat of peulot and following a different B-side schedule, Tzeirim lined up on the bridge connecting A-side and B-side for havdalah. As they lined up by the year in which they started at Ramah, it was lovely to see how new faces continue to join the edah kehila each year.
The week continued with excitingly awesome peulot and some “farewell” activities. Each chanich(a) wrote a letter to him or herself which was buried in the Tzeirim 2013 time capsule which they will open during their Gesher summer. Another keepsake is the beautiful painting chanichim made incorporating a Hebrew version on Forever Young with the bittersweet transition they are approaching as Tzeirim comes to a close.
Shana Tova!I want to thank each of you for sending your child to Ramah this summer. It is truly a life changing experience and it was fantastic to be a part of it!
Shabbat Shalom Solelim! Miss you already and counting the days until kayitz 2014! Have a wonderful New Year and wishing everyone a Shana Tova U’Metukah.
What a whirlwind of a week! Bogrim had time to complete projects and continue with tzrif and edah activities. Yom Palmer was surely the highlight of the week as we then swiftly moved into Yom Pack , banquet and the traditional last night of camp “No Smoking” camp wide gathering. As we look forward to Machon 2014, I want to wish everyone a Shabbat Shalom and Shana Tova.
What a kayitz! It was so amazing spending this summer with Machon; these past few days were very special for us, reflecting on the end of a packed two months, and even thinking toward Gesher 2014. Hoping that everyone has a quiet and wonderful Shabbat with your family this week!
What a powerful way to end our summer with an amazing Yom Palmer that energized the entire machaneh on Sunday followed by our spectacular Gesher 2013 play on Monday night. Tears were mixed with the overwhelming reality that we ended an era at camp and have actually graduated from the role of camper. Next summer we hope that all will join our journey to Israel on Seminar 2014 and continue on to become madrichim at CRB in 2015! I miss all of you already. Shabbat Shalom and L’Shana Tova.