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Our First Sabbath is Over

Posted on 07/21/2013 @ 01:13 PM

Tags: kallah

The first Sabbath of Kallah 2013 has come and gone, and it was quite memorable. Many of our teens don't get to regularly enjoy "the day of rest", as they are often busy amidst their hectic lives, and so Kallah provides them with a special opportunity to have a powerful experience.

On Friday evening the teens got all dressed up (and took plenty of pictures to prove it), before participating in a Menorah Lighting and Kabbalat Shabbat (service to bring in the Sabbath) coordinated by one of the teens' Shabbat planning groups. Afterward, teens and staff alike enjoyed a couple of energetic Shabbat Shira sessions (singing Shabbat-related songs) with our talented song-leaders, Eric Hunker and Happie Hoffman. Once dancing and singing came to a close, the boys and girls split up into what we call AZA and BBG separates. The boys discussed superheroes, and what constitutes a righteous Aleph (member of AZA), while the girls grappled with sacred space and time.

The teens got to sleep in on Saturday morning as breakfast was optional, before going into Shabbat services. Following services, the teens got to choose from an array of Shabbat electives, including an introduction to Israeli politics, an explanation of what working on Shabbat entails, and an exploration of whether Bob Dylan's lyrics make him a prophet (some of the teens had their first-ever exposure to Bob Dylan!).

One of the major factors that separates the Shabbat schedule from the rest of the week is that we have an extended chofesh (period of free time) on the Sabbath. Many teens are trying to keep at least some aspects of Shomer Shabbos (observing the Sabbath) while at Kallah, and during their 4-hour chofesh is when they really started to miss electronics. Nonetheless, most teens found something to read, or someone interesting to talk to, and realized that having a break from their cell phone can be quite refreshing.

Toward the end of the Sabbath our educators put together a panel so that the teens could ask all the questions that may have been looming in the back of their minds. We ended the Sabbath with a camp-wide Havdallah session, and then the teens got to enjoy an evening program put together by the madrichim (counselors). At the end of an eventful Sabbath, the teens went back into their dorms and got ready for a full schedule today to kick off the week.

Teens described this past Sabbath as a meaningful experience, and once they explore Judaism further during this upcoming week, their next Sabbath should be even more special.

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