I cannot believe that in a few days you’ll all be in Israel on Aardvark.
I wanted to wish you a happy last few days with your friends and family before you fly off for an incredible experience.
I also wanted to introduce myself if we have not yet met or spoken. My name is Rabbi Marc and I am the head of Selah as well as being the Rabbi for the whole Aardvark program. Together with our Selah counselor Chaya Lapidot, I will be responsible for putting together an amazing and possibly life-changing program over the coming semester and year. Here are my three big questions for you:
Are you ready for a year of meaningful conversations and learning?
Are you excited to find your Jewish passion?
Are you looking forward to trying out new Jewish things?
I really hope the answer is yes, yes and yes!
Good luck with all your packing!
Remember packing is not just a logistical and physical thing to do. Yes, it can be a real pain to fold all those clothes and to try not exceeding your weight allowance. But packing can also be spiritual as well! Just think of all the journeys other Jews have taken throughout history. Abraham and Sarah left Canaan. The Jews left slavery in Egypt. The prophets followed the exile to Babylon. Spanish Jewry fled from the Inquisition. Hundreds of thousands of Zionists made Aliya to Israel. Some of these people chose, others were forced. Some left with worry, others with hope and joy. Some knew where they were going, others went with the flow. What will your journey be like?
We have so much in store for you when you arrive. Great teachers. Incredible places to visit and people to meet. As well as a variety of wonderful experiences. We will talk more in detail about the classes and morning program once you are here.
Please remember that Selah begins only in the second week of Aardvark. We will have our own intro week including workshops, orientation, choosing classes and our very first Tanach hike. There’s a fair bit of getting yourselves organized to do until then. As well as meeting friends and counselors and discovering the neighborhood, you have an overnight trip to the Golan and a first Aardvark Shabbat to get through as well! We’ll meet for the first time as Selah in a week’s time, on Friday, at my house, across the street from the Aardvark building.
Until then feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Just so that there are no surprises I am informing you of the dates for the Selah Shabbatonim. Please do not arrange anything else on these dates. They are a really central part of what we do on Selah:
I am going to leave you with with a final little idea for you to think about. In Judaism there is a prayer called Tefillat HaDerech – תפילת הדרך. It is a short prayer said whenever going on a long journey. You can read it here: http://www.hillel.org/docs/default-source/mcms-file-archives/tefilat_haderech.pdf?sfvrsn=0. One of the things we ask for in the prayer is that we reach “our desired destination.” Why does the prayer say a “desired” destination? Well, some places in life we just end up at without really knowing how we got there or what to do once we arrive. Maybe a desired destination is not just a place but an attitude. Where do I want to be in my life? Why do I want to go there and not somewhere else? My blessing for you is that you all have a safe journey over to Israel and also that your travelling will be to a place of real desire with all of us together for the coming year. Amen Selah!
Wishing you all a Shabbat Shalom,