holidays 04.23.19

This Passover, Find Your Voice

by Jordyn Kaufman

When one thinks of the holiday of Passover, we think of the main pieces of the story. The Jews are enslaved, they leave Egypt, they eat matzah – we know the drill. But the name of the holiday, Pesach, means more than its reference to God “passing over” the Jewish houses. It can also be broken down into the words
Peh and Sach, or “the mouth speaks.” In many ways, the holiday of Pesach is about finding your own unique voice. In this way, what the Jews experienced coming out of Egypt is similar to what campers experience at camp—both include aspects as simple as discovering that you have something to share, and both are about unlocking your potential or actively choosing your path.

One of the clearest examples in the story of Pesach of this is the relationship between Moses and Aaron. Moses grew up with a speech impediment and was not confident public speaking (relatable, right?). Instead, he collaborated with his brother Aaron, who relayed his messages and actually connected the message to the people.

“Finding your voice” can also be about finding the courage forge your own path. Another Passover story featuring someone truly finding their own voice in this way is that of Nachshon. After Moses leads the Jewish people to the Red Sea, he raises his staff to split the sea, but nothing happens. The Jewish people are shocked and scared – clearly they’ve made a terrible mistake. Suddenly, Nachshon Ben Amindav decides to take initiative and begins wading into the water. At that moment, Moses again raised his staff. When he did, the sea finally split and the Jewish people were able to follow after Nachshon.

What Nachshon did was bold. Instead of standing back and waiting for someone to tell him what to do, he made the decision to be the controller of his own fate – establishing his voice, and using it to pave the way for others.

Moshe, Aaron, and Nachshon were all great leaders, but only together were they able to unlock their potential. They supported each other when they needed it and were able to truly find their own unique voices.

Camp is the perfect place for kids to find their voice. Campers get the opportunity to leave their normal lives and routines and have a chance to explore who they are and who they want to be, all  in the freeing environment of camp, and with staff to support their journey.

A camper’s Moshe and Aaron moment can come from being a team player on a sports team an actor in the play, or being a captain in color war; it can come from needing help with arts and crafts, or making new friends. Their Nachshon moments can be about jumping into activities they’ve never tried before with a smile, trying to make friends with people they wouldn’t typically be friends with at home, coming into camp determined to have fun, or just generally being open to all the new experiences.

Camp is an incredible place that has the power to bring out the best in people. Just like Moses and Aaron and Nachshon did on their journey out of Egypt, campers come to camp and they have be ability to be a team player, be bold, have new experiences and truly be the best version of themselves. At camp, you can find your voice.