Shalom From the Shabbat Lady

Posted on 25 June 2010 by admin

By Laura Seymour

Dear Families,

There is a wonderful story in Genesis about Jacob leaving his family. He takes off on his journey and at night, lies down on a rock. He has a dream of angels going up and down a ladder. When he awakes, he says, “G-d was in this place and I did not know it. How awesome is this place!” (Genesis 28:11-17) We hope each person experiences the beauty of the world and says, “How awesome is this place!” Play, dream, explore, discover!

Each week this summer, all the articles come from the book “Spirit in Nature: Teaching Judaism and Ecology on the Trail” by Matt Biers-Ariel, Deborah Newbrun and Michal Fox Smart. Richard Louv, in his book “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder,” tells us that children and families need time outdoors and in the natural world. The Torah and our sages taught about the importance of nature for centuries; we are finally catching up. Begin today to get outside with your family and experience the world. We must all become “shomer/shomeret adamah — guardians of the earth.” Teach your children by your example and enjoy the outdoors together!

Begin your summer journey with Tefillat Haderech (literally, “prayer of the road”). This prayer asks G-d to protect travelers from the dangers faced on a journey. We want G-d to be with us as we grow and share with others.

“May it be your will, Adonai, our G-d and G-d or our ancestors, to lead us in peace, to keep us in peace, to direct us to our destination in health and happiness and peace, and to return us to our homes in peace. Save us from all enemies and calamities on the journey, and from all threatening disasters. Bless the work of our hands. May we find grace, love, and mercy in your sight and in the sight of all who see us. Hear our pleas, for You listen to prayer and supplication. Praised are You, Adonai, who hears prayer.”

T’filat Haderech
by Debbie Friedman

May we be blessed as we go on our way

May we be guided in peace,

May we be blessed with health and joy,

May this be our blessing. Amen.

May we be sheltered by the wings of peace,

May we be kept in safety and in love,

May grace and compassion find their way to every soul,

May this be our blessing. Amen.

Life is a journey and we challenge you to take a journey this summer. As you do, answer these questions.

•What do you want to learn on this journey?

•The blessing asks to save us from every enemy and disaster along the way. Is there something to fear on every journey? On this one?

•What can we do to “bless the work of our hands”? How can we do tikkun olam (repairing the world) on every journey we take?

Laura Seymour is director of camping services and Jewish life and learning at the Jewish Community Center of Dallas.

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