What is Shabbat at Camp Judaea

By Becca Nadolne—2017 Cornerstone Fellow

Shabbat is the most important day of the week for Jews all around the world to become attuned to holiness in time. It is the day only day of the week that is truly different than the rest. We stop the craziness of the week to reflect and remember that God created the world and everything in it in six days.

The name Shabbat comes from the root ש.ב.ת  which means to end or to rest.

Shabbat is actually the ONLY ritual mentioned in the 10 commandments, and is a precious day we look forward to each week. But it is even more precious when we celebrate at camp where we can spend the day connecting to our friends. During this time of peace and harmony we have the opportunity to enjoy each other and relax in a way that is not available to us during our busy week.

Heschel says, “Labor is a craft, but perfect rest is an art.” At Camp Judaea, perfect rest is created through shleimut (peacefulness) and sakranut (curiousity).

At camp, we treat Shabbat like our best friend coming to visit us. We look forward to the arrival and dress up for our friend, we prepare a fancy evening meal full of tradition, we bless each other and God for allowing our friend to finally visit us, and we take time to humbly take a break from the world to enjoy each other.

This means that at camp we observe Shabbat in the most holy way. At Camp Judaea we observe Shabbat, with anavah (humility), we respect each other and the holy day by not using electricity. We think about tzniut (modesty), in the way we present ourselves and our camp community. We spend Shabbat as a day full of areyvut (community mindedness), as we take the unique opportunity to bond with friends that we waited a whole year to see again! During Shabbat at CJ, we also practice appreciation towards nature as we learn to find tiferet (balance and beauty in our surroundings).

Shabbat is a time to share what is eternal in time with your best friends, your camp friends.

On Shabbat, we join our camp in this perpetual covenant—L’asot et haShabbat l’dorotam berit olam. We ask when our campers and staff come through the holy gates of Camp Judaea, they respect the CJ traditions and help camp remain a Shomer Shabbas campus, where Saturdays can be a special day full of radical amazement, malchut (wonder), simcha (joy), and chassidut (piety).

Shabbat at Camp Judaea is a gift.