By Ellie Goldstein, Rosh Halutzim


In Halutzim this summer, we are focusing on the following phrase in our programming –

הוּא הָיָה אוֹמֵר, אִם אֵין אֲנִי לִי, מִי לִי. וּכְשֶׁאֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, מָה אֲנִי. וְאִם לֹא עַכְשָׁיו, אֵימָתַי:

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

The theme of this past Shabbat – giving – centered on the second question above. At hachanah (the brief introductory activity before Friday night services), each tzrif (cabin) created a compliment web with a ball of yarn. Each person complimented another member of the tzrif , tied the yarn around their wrist, and then passed the yarn to the person they complimented. The compliments were not about physical appearances, instead about personality traits or moments in the summer. After each person had been complimented, the yarn was cut and each member of the tzrif had a bracelet to keep from the activity.

On Shabbat afternoon, the eidah was divided into eight groups to participate in a debate. Each group was given one of Rambam’s eight levels of charity. Each group took time to create an argument as to why their statement is the best way to give charity. After each group presented to the eidah , they took time in small groups to form rebuttals to the statements presented. Instead of declaring a winner, the madrichim (counselors) shared the hierarchy that Ramabam created. The chanichim (campers) presented thoughtful arguments, even if they disagreed with their assigned statement.

For peulat erev (evening activity) , we played a game of Doctor Dodgeball – the standard dodgeball game with a twist. Each team selects two doctors to revive any players that get hit with a ball. If the doctors get hit, the game is over. We ended Shabbat with a ruach filled Havdalah. Next Shabbat, we will focus on the final question posed in the theme – If not now, when?

I’m looking forward to another action packed week in Halutzim!