Dear Kalsman Community,
At the end of each long, activity-filled day of camp, we come together to slow things down and end the night by putting our arms around each other and singing the prayer Hashkiveinu. The prayer asks for a shelter of peace over the night, over the darkness and asks to help us wake up renewed each morning. For our campers, ending the night with Hashkiveinu is a moment of connection and strength, of connecting to community. The Hashkinenu was written to ask for protection from the darkness, a time of vulnerability.
In this moment in our Jewish calendar, we are reminded of our own vulnerability and mortality. We are days away from Yom Kippur, when we will spend a full day reflecting on who we are, how we live, how we need to change our habits and the way we treat others. In this week’s Torah portion, Moses tells the people of his upcoming death and that Joshua will lead them. We are in a moment in the Jewish calendar that we are reminded that life can be scary and hard and is finite. Some of us, don’t need the Torah portion or of the High Holy Days to remind us of our mortality.
At the same time, this week’s Torah portion tells us to be strong.
This simple reminder can be a powerful, signaling to us that life is not picture perfect, and there are times that we need to be reminded to be strong. This week we think about what brings us strength. Maybe it’s from being surrounded by a community, like our campers, arm and arm during the Hashkiveinu. Maybe it’s by finding moments of solitude to reflect and recharge. Maybe our strength comes from family time, singing, dancing, running, shouting, learning, praying, cooking, hiking, reading or connecting to your community. This week we are reminded to focus on what brings us strength and dig into it; to find the time to recharge.
May this shabbat be filled with time for reflection and time to do what bring you joy and strength.
The Kalsman Team