Finding our Inner Beauty and Balance

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Finding our Inner Beauty and Balance

Shabbat remarks and readings – June 22nd and 23rd, 2023

Shabbat shalom!
What a privilege it is to all be gathered here today, on the first shabbat of first session, as we
begin the summer of 2023. Whether this is your first camp shabbat, or your 30 th , we know that
this moment is a sacred and special one. Many of us have been waiting for months and
months to be here together, to celebrate shabbat surrounded by the beauty of nature, looking
out from Chapel on the Hill with the breathtaking views of our entire camp, and the hills
beyond, on full display.
But, wait. We’re not on the hill. We’re here, inside, crammed together, with slippery floors
and soaked-through white clothing, in the Beit. This is what we’ve been waiting for?
Well – YES. This, too, is what we’ve been waiting for. We talk about Harlam as a place where
we can be our best selves. But when we talk about Tikkun Middot, the character traits we
build here at camp, we say that we’re all on “a path to becoming our best selves”. We know
that it’s a journey, with setbacks and challenges, and moments of growth and learning.
Because, let’s be honest, just like the weather today is not the best, we will not always be our
best selves while here at camp. There will no doubt be days when we will be tired. Activities
that may not be our favorite. Friends that mistakenly say the wrong thing at the wrong time,
and moments when we will, too. I’ve spoken harshly to others, made the wrong judgment call,
and just maybe stayed up far too late on some nights and been quite cranky the next day.
Camp can be the setting for both our best and our hardest moments. We need to expect and
embrace the tough moments that ultimately help us to be better because they test our
resilience, require us to think about others first, or teach us a new way of thinking.
Believe me, we will have moments of joy. Lots of them. Lots of sunshine and fun and new
friends. Lots of bomb pops, and Maccabiah wins, hands that are raw from banging on the table
during Shabbat song session, and the feeling of warmth and love we feel in our heart when we
sway and sing Siyum L’yom with friends’ arms wrapped tight around us.
As we begin this session together, let us remember that camp will bring so many “best days”,
and just a few that are “less than our best”, but all of them should be treasured. Let us be
gracious, kind to others, and ourselves, even when we are not at our best here. And let’s
celebrate who we will be when we emerge from this summer, with all of its moments of joy
and it moments of growth. Amen. (Lisa David)


Annie, Sammy, Charlotte, Sophie

Shabbat Shalom!

Today’s middah is Tiferet, meaning Finding Innerbeauty and Balance.

To us this means being comfortable and proud in our own bodies.

Tiferet can look different for everyone and can be as little as a cool hair style or a pair of shoes.

This may sound like outer-beauty, but if you can find what you like on the outside you can feel comfortable on the inside too.

We can find Tiferet in ourselves and in others.


Emily, Caroline, Naomi, Lilliana

We have known each other for three years, and in those years we’ve become really good friends.  Harlam brought us together and brought us into this community.  Community means all being together as one, as a group, and supporting each other.

Sometimes I struggle to find inner beauty within myself, but my Camp Harlam community helped me find myself and my inner beauty.

Remember, we all struggle in one way or another, but you can use your community to support you— and you may even find your best friends to help you find your inner-beauty just like we did. 

We all come together at the end of the week for this special day that celebrates our community.  Now we want to inspire you to find your own inner beauty.


Hayden, Addy, and Samantha

At camp, time seems to stop.

Everyday we spend time with our best friends.

We can find our inner-beauty by living in the moment.

Through the ups and downs, days and nights,

We learn to love the little moments.

And we appreciate camp when time seems endless.

The upcoming prayer, Yotzer Or, talks about the creations of the sun and moon.

At camp we’re surrounded by outer-beauty and imagination.  We create day through night.

We see all of this inner and outer beauty at camp, which makes us appreciate camp more.

Take time and create your own little moments at camp.


Victoria, Mollie, Alice, and Abby

I believe in myself.

I’m confident.

I can persevere

I am strong

Part of finding inner-beauty is learning how to love yourself.

The Shema and V’Ahavta teaches that God loves everybody no matter what.

This summer at camp, learn to find inner-beauty by loving yourself just as God loves you.

At the start of the speech, we all gave ourselves affirmations.

As the summer fun continues, give yourselves daily affirmations to help seek your inner-beauty. 


Mia, Maya, Gabby

Tiferet is about finding your inner-beauty and peace.

The prayer we’re about to sing together, Mi Chamocha, is about Redemption.

This is OUR story about Redemption and Tiferet.  My first Carmel year I was 8.

So was I.  We both didn’t know anyone, and we quickly became friends.  

Coming to camp we didn’t know how our friendships would be in our bunk.

We both overcame our fear of not having any friends — because we had each other as friends.

My first year was right after COVID, and I knew very few people in my bunk.  I was a very self-doubting 10 year old, after being stuck on zoom for a year.  When I met Maya and Gabby, and the rest of my bunk mates, they helped me get over your self-doubt and help make Harlam my “happy place.”

Our story is like Mi Chamocha because we overcame obstacles in our lives, just as the Israelites made the through the obstacle of the Reed Sea.

Our story is filled with Tiferet because – on the other side of the Sea – we found our inner beauty and peace by making new friends.

Our Harlam friendships our forever. 

Shabbat Sh’Rap by Jane, Elena, Caitlyn, Gabe, Wyatt, Jackson

Saturday morning and the peeps are here.

It’s time for Shabbat, lemme get a cheer.

We’ll talk about Moses, Aaron, the Levites too.

A-O, Arava, you know what to do.


Korach, Dathan, and Abiram too

Question Moses’ authority as a powerful Jew


God gets upset, he opens a hole

That swallows Korach completing God’s goal


250 others rebelled too.

God made a fire to kill Korach’s crew. 


To prove that Aaron was the real High Priest 

God sent a plague, then Aaron settled the beef.


Aaron’s staff then became an almond tree

So all the Jews could live together in glee.


Emily, Emma, Alyssa

As we close this service, we wanted to show how we have already found inner beauty. Even thought its only the fourth day at camp, We can still find the beauty and love in it.

As we all know, the weather these past days have not been nice. Instead of spending time outside, we have spent lots of time inside and wearing jackets. 

Although this is not ideal, we have not just been able to discover the inner beauty of ourselves but also the inner beauty of our bunkmates

On this Shabbat, we challenge you to find out what makes you beautiful!

Ari, Charlie

This Shabbat is about (tee-fair-et), or inner beauty. Inner beauty has many different meanings for different people. To us it means your personality, looking beyond someone’s appearance, and appreciating everybody. 

Shabbat is a time of reflection. By reflecting you can look back and appreciate the beauty that everyone has. You are also reflecting on your personality and what makes you special. This is all apart of (tee-fair-et).


First Year

By: Samara Weinberg

It’s my first year at camp Harlam and I love it. I’m a very shy person so I thought I wouldn’t make any friends. I thought wrong  I made many friends. The minute I walked into my bunk I knew this was for me. Finding these friends made me realize the inner beauty I found inside me.

Five More Minutes

By: Samantha Lerman

Do you have a phone?  If so, how much are you on it?  I interviewed 11 people.  The average screen time per day for 11-12 year olds was 3 and a half hours.  Before we come to camp, our phone is our main priority.  Phone in pocket, phone in hand.  But then, kids come to camp.  They are separate from screens.  Screens separate us from reality.  When kids come to camp, their inner self shines out.  The shell breaks and everyone’s inner beauty comes out.  What I didn’t know last year when I came to Kineret, how much camp inspires inner beauty and tiger et.  All around camp, we have loads of fun, I never want it to be done.  The last day of camp comes like the flash, so it’s up to us to make it last.

“What Happens In the Bunk Stays In The Bunk”

By: Alaina Goldman 

I have always believed that every thought of mine should be private to everyone except family. Even if you can laugh about it later, it is yours and yours only. What I have also believed is that you have to change yourself to be liked by others. I’ve believed this up until I met my bunk in Sharon. When I got to Sharon I  met a bunk of beautiful people, a group that has only grown ever since then.

Each year our bunk has lost and gained new people. But from Sharon all the way to Aravah, we have always shown our inner beauty. It is felt from our count-off song, to the super random questions we ask during “big sister”. We have always shown love and kindness towards whoever decided to scream the loudest of laugh the hardest. And even if our thoughts are private, they are private together. But remember our number one rule: “what happens in the bunk stays in the bunk”.