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Showing posts from June, 2013

The Death of Miriam Changes Everything

We learn about Miriam’s death in just one short line, all the Torah tells us is that “Miriam died there, and was buried there”; there are no details of how the community mourned her, but it is clear that her loss is felt by the community and by Moses. The Israelites complaining about conditions in the desert and longing for Egypt is not new. Throughout Numbers the Israelites are quick to complain to Moses and long for the delicacies they had in Egypt. In this case we might excuse their complaints as insecurity. They are grieving and they are uncertain about the future -- what if the well was only there because Miriam merited it? In their sorrow, the community falls back into their old pattern of complaining. They forget about all the other miracles in the desert and myopically only see the current crisis. Grief narrows their vision to only the negative. When Miriam was alive they danced and praised God; after her death they are quarrelsome.  Moses and Aaron are also changed by grief. At…

Packing for Summer Camp

My family and I have been going to Camp Newman for seven summers now, and we have packing down to a science. I’ve got a list of some “must-have” items you’ll want to through in your kids’ bags, but first things first: here’s what you really need to know.
You’re going to forget something, and that’s OK.
Nobody gets everything into the bag, but that’s not a problem. Your kids will be filthy, and they will wish they had brought something they forgot, and they will share clothes... and that is part of the fun. Don’t overpack, and don’t worry about how they’ll manage at camp – they will.
Also: not everything that goes to camp comes home again. One summer one of my kids left her duffel bag at camp; she brought home everything in her laundry bag instead. Don’t send anything to camp that you would be heartbroken if you never see it again. 
Packing: beyond the list.
First, you’ll need a list. Start with the suggestions from camp, and adjust it until it seems right. Our camp’s list never includes a …