About the prompt: We asked each Peer Ambassador to share with us a pivotal moment in their Jewish journey, what being a Peer Ambassador means to them personally, and what value speaks to them. Stay tuned over the next few months to hear from all of the Peer Ambassadors.
Check out Daniel's blog post below as he shares about his experience at Camp Ramah Darom and how summer camp taught him to apprecaite Shabbat.
All my life I have been surrounded by Judaism, from preschool to high school. To me, every second of every day is special and connected to G-d and Judaism. Rather than one pivotal moment, my life has been shaped by the mundane, the waking up and brushing my teeth, the meals shared with family friends, the songs and tunes of Kabbalat Shabbat, but camp has also been a highlight of my journey.
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Camp Ramah Darom, a camp in Georgia that belongs to the Ramah movement, and one of my favorite parts of the camp experience is Sloach, or Slow Ruach. Every Friday night after dinner, we sing songs of joy for Shabbat. You don’t need to be a good singer, that isn’t the point, when we sing together, we sound beyond anything the individual can achieve, but my favorite time comes after dinner on Saturday night, Sloach, named as the opposite of the Ruach. Here we express both our sorrow for the end of Shabbat and the hope for the new week. The emotions expressed rarely fail to reduce everyone to the point of tears. The powerful songs of Acheinu, B’Shem Hashem, and Hamalach urge all to join in. This is a chance for us to let go of all the tension and pent-up emotion, leaving us prepared for a new week. The contrast of Ruach, Sloach, and Havdalah, in which the camp is rowdy and dances, paints a wonderful picture.
Shabbat is a chance to get away from the rest of the week, the drama, and the strife. At Shabbat, we look forward to a new chance, a new beginning. These are perhaps the most defining moments of my Jewsh journey.
About the Author: Daniel is a freshman at Rochelle Zell Jewish High School. He enjoys tennis, golf, reading, and hanging out with his friends. He is a member of Moriah Congregation and enjoys learning Torah. He has gone to Jewish schools all of his life and can't wait to share the love for Judaism he has developed!