This summer was our oldest son Gabriel’s first year at summer camp. We sent him to URJ Camp Coleman, and of course, he had an amazing time. He has a great deal of ruach and at camp he got an opportunity to shine.
We wrote him letters and sent emails, but at home, we were met largely with silence. About four days into the second week, Natalie got her first “letter.” It was a corner torn off from a piece of paper that said, “Dear Mommy, I loveGabriel.” (Sic)
I saw how distressed Natalie felt from getting no letters. In her head she knew that less letters home means more fun at camp. In her heart she missed her boy. When he came home at the end of four weeks, all three of us cried in the airport as we hugged the air out of each other. His first comment, “Can I go back next session?”
We know that Gabriel had a wonderful time at camp even without as much communication as we had hoped. Letting him shine in his own element is an important part of letting him grow.During Elul we do the same with ourselves. We consider our strengths and determine what things make us shine. We work on our weaknesses and try to build them into positive aspects. Understanding ourselves is an important part of growing, and Elul provides us an opportunity to grow and shine.