By Rabbi Ike Serotta, Avodah Segel (Faculty)
Coming to the last Shabbat of my two week stint on faculty in Avodah is a bittersweet experience. This Shabbat means it’s time to go home. I look forward to my own bed, but I will miss the great group of Avodahniks that I have met here. Nothing compares to the way it feels to truly live a Shabbat at camp. That is particularly true in Avodah. The two dozen young adults who make up the Avodah Corps work hard while they are here. They get room and board at camp in exchange for spending several hours a day sweeping, mopping, washing dishes, cleaning, and disinfecting rest rooms. In some cases, things their parents could never get them to do at home, they do willingly at camp.
Maybe it’s the feeling of working as a team, and not just individuals, but even more there is a real sense on Friday of preparing the camp for something special. Avodah makes it possible for the whole camp to experience prayer, and dinner, and singing altogether in one room. Without Avodah the whole Shabbat experience couldn’t happen. And once they spend the afternoon preparing the new Heichal Tarbut Kaye by putting out 600 chairs and putting tape on the floor to designate the units that come together for Shabbat Shira after dinner, taking down the walls that divide the dining room and setting the tables for all the Chanichim and guests who come to celebrate Shabbat, then Avodah will have just a enough time to take showers and put on their best clothes and begin a Shabbat of rest. They are the worker bees and the future leaders of camp. They really know what it is to have Shabbat rest after working so hard to make it restful for themselves and for the whole OSRUI Family.
It is an honor for me to teach them, to pray with them, and even just to hang out. L’hitraot OSRUI, hope to see you all again soon.