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A Bisl Torah – Refresh

Time to refrain from refreshing the screens. Instead, a reminder to refresh our souls.
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June 27, 2024
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Our children are spending a good part of their summer at Camp Ramah. While we know the inner workings of camp, we cannot help but check the camp photo sites multiple times a day. In conversations with close friends (also with camper children) we remind ourselves, “They’re fine! We’re fine!” And yet, we all habitually check the mailbox (snail and email) to see if there is communication from our kids, knowing full and well that there probably won’t be anything if we just checked five minutes ago.

A friend sent over a funny video that centered around this idea of “refreshing” our screens. The constant refresh of social media to see if our child is smiling, crying, grimacing, or making a silly face. We scan the photos for a glimpse of their back, their elbow, claiming that must be their water bottle or hat in the corner of a picture. But what an odd choice of words to use when glued to someone else’s experience—refresh.

Yet another friend explained that the time at summer camp is a chance for our children to stretch their independence and equally, a chance for parents to stretch adulting skills that have been accumulating dust. An opportunity to spend time with a book, cup of coffee, go on long walks, take uninterrupted naps, pray, write, and connect with loved ones. Refresh.

Summer camp, especially Jewish summer camp is a huge gift to children. Our children are undoubtedly learning new skills to help them because more self-reliant, proud Jewish young adults. And we are learning how to take a few weeks to slow down, breathe, appreciate the silence and also, cherish the special realization of how much we miss our kids.

Time to refrain from refreshing the screens. Instead, a reminder to refresh our souls.

Elohai Neshama Shenata Bi Tehorah–God, the soul you have given me is pure. Let me ensure it is so.

Shabbat Shalom


Rabbi Nicole Guzik is senior rabbi at Sinai Temple. She can be reached at her Facebook page at Rabbi Nicole Guzik or on Instagram @rabbiguzik. For more writings, visit Rabbi Guzik’s blog section from Sinai Temple’s website.

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