Finding Inner Beauty as a Community

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The unit of Galil led our Saturday morning Shabbat services last week. Their theme was Tiferet or inner beauty. Below are some of the words they shared.

By Rose and Ben: This week’s theme is Tiferet, which means finding inner beauty or joy. People are often able to find Tiferet in many different ways. One way I found Tiferet was when Ben and I first met in Sharon 3 years ago. We found joy in being together. One of the ways that Rose and I found joy in spending time together was because of the common bond we had over so many things. Now that we’re in our last year together here in Junior Camp, we’re realizing that we are appreciating this time together even more and taking time to enjoy the moments of Tiferet together before we move to Senior Camp next year. We hope everyone here takes the time to enjoy a moment of Tiferet this morning during our Shabbat service and continue to seek out beauty and joy throughout our remaining time here together at camp.

By Lily, Lily, and Maddie: The Barechu is a moment to remind us to stop what we’re doing and pay attention to what is going on around us. Sometimes camp goes by so fast that you forget to pause and notice the small things. Small things such as… sunrises and sunsets… the view…the fresh air! You can find inner beauty while at camp through moments like the Barechu… and when you aren’t in the chapel, pausing and looking around at everything that surrounds you.

By Linzi, Selah, and Elise: At first, it was difficult to begin this writing. We couldn’t figure out the connection between Tiferet, inner beauty, and the Shema. Then we stopped to think about the words of the Shema and the community around us. During the Shema, we don’t have to worry about being alone because even though a lot of us close our eyes, we know we are surrounded by our community. The community around us helps me find inner beauty because everyone works together to make this environment so beautiful. Camp Harlam has helped all of us find inner beauty. We hope you take this moment during the Shema to find Tiferet.

By Ron: Good morning! Many of us experience Shabbat services in different ways. Some of us need to fidget with a toy or feel like we need to whisper with a friend. Neither of these are necessarily bad since all of us participate in prayer in different ways. We just need to consider those around us and make sure that what we are doing isn’t affecting the other’s prayer moments. Some of us love to sing along loudly with the camp community while others prefer to be quieter. Some of us love to wrap our arms around each other and sway while others prefer not to. You should feel like you can participate in services in a way that makes you feel comfortable. This is just one way of finding Tiferet, inner beauty, when we pray together. The Mi Chamocha is all about asking G-d who is like you, working wonders everyday for us. This line ties directly into finding inner beauty. Who is like you, Camp Harlam? How are you special? And most importantly, who is like you… yourself? Who else prays like you? Who else acts like you? This next question I really want you to think about as you leave services today. Who else in this whole community, this whole world, this whole universe lives life like you? Please join us in the way you feel comfortable in the Mi Chamocha.

By Liza, Ayla, and Tyler: Finding inner beauty to me at camp was hard at first. Obviously the chapel and its beautiful views, the pools and its shimmering water, but what is the beauty from within? The lifelong memories I’ve made so far will stick with me and later I’ll be able to reminisce about my time at camp. Through all the years, shower hours, S’mornings, Shabbat, and of course Yellow Meal have helped me reflect on this week’s middah Tiferet. All of these examples have helped me to grow into the person I am today and I’m forever thankful for that. The beauty I think of at camp is the late-night talks on the top of the cubbies in the bathroom and the late stargazing on the rust-colored wood. These are the memories I will cherish forever. They help to also bring joy, just as the Yismechu celebrates the joy of Shabbat.

By Sofia, Avery, and Ziva: Going double session for the first time can make it more difficult to find the beauty in every situation. Whether it’s double the opening days, double the Galil hikes, double the drama, or double the tears, we learn at Harlam to find the inner beauty and make the best out of every situation. Although we encounter these challenges as double sessioners, we also get double the laughter, double the lifelong friends, and most importantly double the memories that will last forever. All these things help us find the inner beauty in ourselves and in our summers here at the best place on earth. So next time you’re second-guessing your summers away from home, remember to think about all the beautiful moments at camp. Please take these next few moments during the silent prayer to reflect on all the times you’ve found inner beauty this summer at camp.

By Devin, Talya, Luci, and Ava: Camp is a place where the community is connected through a sense of home. Everyone returns to their second home summer after summer to make memories and grow together. Someone who doesn’t spend their summers here at Harlam wouldn’t necessarily understand the meanings behind many of our traditions. All of camp wearing white and participating in the same cheers and songs brings us together as a community. All of these traditions help us find our own inner beauty together. Working together to find inner beauty helps to strengthen our bonds as a camp family. As we continue coming to camp, we realize the beauty and uniqueness it holds. As we recite the Mi Shebeirach, we think of those who are in need of healing and strength. Let’s join together as a community to show love and support to all who need it with Mi Shebeirach.

By Eliana and Jay: Finding beauty can be difficult at times, but it’s a lot easier with friends to help. Jay and I have been close friends for a long time and we have managed to help each other through hard times. Before camp began, someone I knew passed away. It was difficult for my family, but after coming to camp and being with friends like Eliana, I was once again able to find the beauty in things, both inside and out. We hope that anyone who is remembering a loved one who has passed is able to find beauty in the memories they have. Please take a moment to reflect on your loved one. Think about the beauty they brought to the world. Please rise and join in the Mourners Kaddish.