I’m at the Rabbis Without Borders blog on MyJewishLearning.com this week, sharing the story of my weekend at the beach with two friends who are also RWB colleagues. If you enjoy reading the RWB blog, follow us on Twitter for updates: @rwbclal
Weekend at the Beach: My plan was to enjoy a Shabbat getaway and Sunday morning at the beach with Rabbi Rachael and her family. Having missed her daughter’s baby naming celebration, I was eager to visit before summer vacation surrendered to a new school year. When Rabbi Ruth, also free this weekend, offered to drive with me… Read more →
In the spring of 2008, I announced to my students at The Weber School that I was taking a sabbatical to complete the manuscript of Found in Translation: Common Words of Uncommon Wisdom and to be more available to my family. I planned to spend a year replenishing my spirit and reorienting my rabbinate to focus on adult education and interfaith connections.
This seven-year sabbatical is now coming to an end. I’m thrilled to be returning to the classroom—the same classroom I used to share with Chaya Lieberman—to teach 9th grade. I’ve missed being in school, missed my students and my colleagues. Walking through the front door earlier this week, I felt like I was coming home.
There is much to tell—I’ll write more about my back-to-school experiences in the months ahead—and even more to do: decorating the classroom, coordinating the curriculum and assessments with Chaya, taking a photo for my new ID badge. These three weeks before students arrive are filled with tasks, and I’m breathless with anticipation.
Thanks to everyone for the congratulatory wishes, especially Aunt Cynthia, who encouraged me to get something new to wear on the first day of school. Mission accomplished.
It’s Friday morning.
Because, in many ways, every day at camp feels exactly the same, I consult my calendar every morning to double-check the day and date.
In some ways, though, Friday morning is different. Knowing that Shabbat is imminent, I feel eager to start the day.
In just a few hours, the rhythm of the day will shift and there will be an undercurrent of energy in the air as campers and staff begin Shabbat preparations. I’ll finish teaching campers an hour before lunch, and I’ll clean the studio and shut it down for 36 hours.
After lunch, I’ll head straight to my room to make Shabbatograms to deliver at Kabbalat Shabbat, the service just before sundown when we welcome the arrival of the Sabbath. We’ll light candles before sunset and sing Psalms. The energy will shift once again–the buzz of anticipation replaced by an easy calm–as the relentless pace of daily life at camp is disrupted by joy-filled celebration.
Shabbat at camp bears no resemblance to Shabbat at home, or anywhere else in the world.
“And the skies and the earth and all their array were finished; and God finished on the seventh day the work God had done, and God rested on the seventh day from all the work God had done.” (Genesis 2:1-2)