Tiyul 2021: Day 6 & 7 | BZ B'nai Mitzvah Bash
Class of 2021
Friday at camp was a great day including hikes in the woods, challah braiding, the creation of Shabbat-o-grams and bsamim bags all before a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat overlooking Ramah Darom’s lake. Following student-led songs and prayer, the group made their way to the dining hall for a festive meal followed by a rousing game of challenge bingo that involved the game’s traditional rules but with a unique twist. In the morning, the day began with Tefillah (see Noah T.’s d’var below) and a Tefillah scavenger hunt. Due to a rainy day many opted for a low-key Shabbas with board games and card games, but others took advantage of camp’s Beit Am, a covered area with a full basketball court and when the sun started to come out other started to toss around a frisbee on the field. The ShinShinim then led a student reflection on Jewish identity and after dinner was a beautiful Havdalah service and the BZ B’nai Mitzvah Bash. Read more from the students below.
Noah T. and Elana G.
After a wonderful Kabbalat Shabbat on Friday night, Elana and almost everyone else in the grade slept in. Noah and some other people woke up earlier for a bigger and longer Tefillah. We then all ate breakfast and went downstairs to the Makom Tefillah. We were going to do Tefillah outside, but it was raining. We read Torah and Noah gave a beautiful d’var. We then split into groups and did a Tefillah scavenger hunt. After that, we ate lunch and had a nice hour of rest time in our rooms. 
Once the rest hour was over, we did some rainy day activities. A good portion of the grade with Elana went to play some great board games. Noah and almost all of the boys went to a roofed basketball court and played. 
We played until 4:30 and went inside for some Jewish discussion time with the ShinShinim. We had another activity with some personal question cards to bond and open up. After, we did dinner and a very calming Havdalah service.
We then got to go to an amazing B’nei Mitzvah party honoring all of the people who didn’t get a party during COVID-19. We danced and Noah and Kaylee preformed two amazing songs. We then got to watch a wonderful montage that they put together for those who did not get a mitzvah party. And then it was time to go to bed. 
We are definitely excited for the rest of this Tiyul and we can’t wait for what our teachers and peers throw at us.
Zoli G.
Yesterday, we observed Shabbat. That meant we got to relax and reflect. When we had free time, I played board games with my friends and watched some of them play basketball. It was very refreshing to take a day of rest, but also it was a time for me to be with a community in which I had been with for nine years. I had especially had been missing out on experiences like this for a year because of COVID-19, so being able to create this “bubble” of people was so meaningful.
Daniel S.
Yesterday was a very tiring day. We had much fun even though it was raining outside for half of the day. One thing I truly believed was fun was the Bar Mitzvah party dedicated to the people who were not able to have their Bar or Bar Mitzvahs because of COVID-19. Finishing everyone’s Bar Mitzvahs made me feel as if a weight was pushed off my shoulders and that we can finally move on to our adult life. It showed me that the nine years spent on learning about the Torah and about speaking Hebrew was a big help in our Torah reading and even if someone didn’t read the Torah correctly, as a community, we support them the whole way.
Asher F.
Yesterday was a very different day then I’m used to. We started the day with a Shabbat service which is not something I usually attend. Some read from the Torah, and all of us participated in the prayers. During lunch and breakfast we did a few more prayers than usual. We ended the day with a Bar/Bat Mitzvah party that me and a few others helped to plan with Mr. Sheahan. I had never planned any party so I think it came out pretty well and think that our grade had a lot of fun.
Noah T.’s Saturday Morning D’var Torah
This week's Torah portion is a double Torah portion of Achrei Mot and Kedoshim. But the one we are going to focus on is Kedoshim, which outlines the laws and rituals that God commands us to do. 
God told Moses to tell the Israelites about the laws commanding an annual Day of Atonement and sexual prohibitions; we don't need to talk about the sexual prohibitions but we will talk about the Day of Atonement, or Yom Kippur.
God instructs Moses to tell the Israelites some specific things:
  • You shall be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy. You shall each revere your mother and your father, and keep God’s Sabbaths. Do not turn to idols or make molten gods for yourselves. I, the Lord, am your God. 
  • You shall not steal, You shall not coerce your neighbor, Love your neighbor’s welfare as if it were your own, You shall not insult the deaf or place a stumbling block before the blind, You shall not render an unfair decision, You shall not hate your kinsman in your heart, You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinfolk, you shall observe God’s laws, You shall keep the Sabbath and honor God’s sanctuary.
The laws in this portion stress honesty and fairness. They say to respect the handicapped and to respect and care for everyone else around you. But how does that relate to what we have been talking about on this Tiyul?
אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי. If I am not for me, who will be for me?
 וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, מָה אֲנִי. And when I am for myself alone, what am I?
 וְאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁיו, אֵימָתַי. And if not now, then when?
If we don't care for ourselves how do others care for us? If we place stumbling blocks in front of the blind or don't care for our neighbor, why should they do anything for us? You can only do these things if you start with yourself. You must be grounded in your own identity and trust in yourself to be able to help others in their journey and life as a whole. We are building trust, care, respect and friendship through this Tiyul. We did the odyssey course to further build and strengthen the trust we have with each other. We did farming to benefit each other and when we leave, to benefit Ramah Darom. It is our duty to help each other and even people we don't know. Talking about the quote of im ain ani li mi li throughout Tiyul is the best way to end our time together at BZ. Kedoshim is important to the quote that we are basing this trip on because of the repeated respect for ourselves and others. So I want you guys to think about how you are going to use your Judaism, however you feel, to benefit yourself and others in your future. 
Im ain ani li mi li. If I am not for me, who is for me?
Thank you.