Each week, two different units take on a leadership role in our Shabbat celebrations. One of our Lower Camp units (Bonim, Chalutzim, and Ofarim) leads Friday night T’filah, while an Upper Camp unit (Chalutzim, Tzofim, and Olim) leads Saturday morning T’fllah.
Leading services not only helps our campers grew more comfortable and confident in front of the larger camp community, it also helps them find a personal connection to a part or all of the whole T’filah experience. When a unit is assigned to lead T’filah, each of the campers chooses the nature of the role they would like to have in the service, whether in art, song, dance, writing, and in upper camp, as Torah readers as well.
Last Shabbat, Ofarim led Friday night T’filah, and the campers did a fabulous job connecting the theme of their service, “The Power of Words,” to each of the different aspects of T’filah. An Ofarim camper said:
“Leading services allowed me to express my feelings about how powerful words can be and how we use them to help people, but also how they can hurt people.”
“The Power of Words” has particular meaning here at camp. Since we live amongst so many people, we strive to only speak words that can make someone feel good and leave out entirely the words that can cause hurt or bad feelings between people.
Tzofim lead services on Shabbat morning. Their theme, standing up for what you believe in, found its expression in the song, words, movement and art the campers created. One Tzofim camper said,
“For our D’var Torah, we had to look deeper into the parsha, and find new meaning. We were able to find a message that we could learn from and use in our daily lives. After writing this d’var torah and sharing it with all of camp, I feel closer to the Torah, like it can always be related to our lives, if we look hard enough.”
Another Tzofim camper wrote,
“The key to writing a D’var Torah is to look deep into the parshat for not only Jewish values but reasons that can be applied to everyday life. Once you find both, you can make a worthwhile D’var Torah.”