Telling the Garinim Story

by Avidan Halivni, Rosh Eidah

This week in Garinim was dedicated to the telling of stories, from learning about their main components to actually playing out what goes into making a good story. Our Yom Meyuchad (Wednesday Theme Day) had us exploring the building blocks of epic storytelling — the aidah was split into eight groups, with each group taking a turn to write one line of a prompted tale. Ultimately, we ended up with eight unique stories, each with their own plot twists and narrative development, yet all sharing 48 wonderful co-authors. When each group performed one of these stories on the Beit Am stage, it was an incredible view into the creative process, from the initial brainstorming sessions to the final exhibition in front of the group.

We continued our engagement with this theme into Shabbat, where we explored the interactions between multiple characters in our own stories, and grappled with the understanding that their perspective may differ from our own in any given scenario. Understanding the relationship between parents and children, between humankind and animals, or between humans and nature requires the ability to step out of one’s own character and consider the situation of another — an essential skill not just for authors but for friends and colleagues as well. Just as in the story of the biblical character Balaam, whose episode with his talking donkey we had read about in the Torah portion earlier that day, Garinim discussed the importance of empathy and maintaining perspective in our daily lives, and it was impressive to hear our campers offer their insight from their own experiences in these situations. 

It has been a wonderful and exciting week in Garinim, and we are looking forward to making every minute count in our last full week together!