Friday, August 23, 2013

17 Elul/18 Elul

Once again, a double portion of Elul Thoughts to last you through Shabbat.  Enjoy!

URJ Camp Coleman is the Jewish summer home for nearly 1000 young Jews from the Southeastern U.S.  The camp is guided by four values:  Kavod- Respect”  Kehilah – Community” “Shalom- Peace” and “Chesed- Kindness.”  These values are found throughout the camp.  Literally, they’re on giant arches near the oldest campers’ bunks, and they make up the sign for every cabin.  But they’re also found in every discussion and interaction that takes place.  Every counselor and most campers can recite them aloud.  When someone does something disrespectful, his or her peers often say “You’re not showing kavod.  The campers learn what it means to be guided by the values of our tradition, and how they can permeate all different aspects of their lives.  What are the values that guide your daily interactions?  Are you aware of them?


The Power We Have

The great 20th century thinker, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, taught: "If a person were able to survey at a glance all he has done in the course of his life, what would he feel? He would be terrified at the extent of his own power."

Do we have the power . . .

To change the world?  Not likely.

To change our community?  It's possible.

To change ourselves?  This is completely within our reach.

To change someone else?  You can count on it!  We must learn to be careful with how we use our individual power.  We should see our relationship with every person as if it was fragile and you could hurt them or help them. It is. And you can.


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