Abraham’s journey

Dear Families,

Summer is the time for camp and many of us have wonderful camp memories. I am truly blessed because I create new memories each summer as I continue being a camper all my life. Teaching Jewish values in a camp setting requires one thing — a great singing session. We have found that the lessons that our campers (and counselors) learn through singing stay with them forever. For the nine weeks of camp, I will introduce a new song each week in this column. If you want to know the tunes, just check out iTunes.

L’chi lach” — the words spoken to Abraham by G-d, telling him to leave his home, take his family and go to another land, without knowing where the journey would take him. There are many questions we ask ourselves as we read this parasha: What makes a journey difficult? How was it different in Abraham’s time than now when many of us move all over the world? Why did Abraham go? What did G-d promise him? Would you have gone? And now talk about the promises made to Abraham: What does it mean to have a “great name”? What does it mean “to BE a blessing”? How can you be a blessing?

L’chi Lach (Debbie Friedman)

L’chi lach, to a land that I will show you

Leich l’cha, to a place you do not know

L’chi lach, on your journey I will bless you

And you shall be a blessing (3) L’chi lach.

L’chi lach, and I shall make your name great

Leich l’cha, and all shall praise your name

L’chi lach, to a place that I will show you

L’simchat chayim (3) L’chi lach

And you shall be a blessing (3) L’chi lach.

The land that Abraham was promised is the land of Israel. This song is another of many Hebrew songs hoping for a time of peace. Abraham led us to the land and then so much has happened since then — how can we bring peace or must we “wait and see”?

Bashana Habaah (Traditional)

Bashanah Habaah neshev al hamirpeset V’nispor tziporim nod’ dot

Y’ladim bachufsha y’sachaku tofeset Ben habayit l’ven hasadot

Od tireh, od tireh Kama tov yihiyeh, Bashana, bashanah habaah (2)

Soon the day will arrive when we will be together

and no longer will man live in fear.

And the children will smile without wondering whether

on that day dark new clouds will appear.

Wait and see, wait and see, what a world there can be

If we share, if we care, you and me (2)

Laura Seymour is Jewish Experiential Learning director and Camp director emeritus at the Aaron Family JCC.

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