Adat Ha-Machon Talking about Hakarat Hatov (gratitude)
This morning’s Limmud (Jewish learning) session was a bit different. Today Akiva Harris Rosh Limmud (head of Jewish learning) and Mindy Goldstein the Director of Annual Campaign and Alumni Relations spoke with Adat Ha-Machon about the concept in Judaism called Hakarat Hatov (gratitude). The lesson opened by discussing that the first prayer we recite immediately after opening our eyes is a prayer called Modeh Ani. The word Modeh in Hebrew means to give thanks. Our first thought upon rising in the morning should be to give thanks to God for giving us the gift of another day on this earth.
The discussion continued as we read a text in the Torah where God tells Moses to tell his brother Aaron to take a stick and hit the Nile River, the river would turn to blood and that would be the first of the Ten Plagues in Egypt. The Torah made a point of showing that Moshe would not perform that plague because it involved hitting the Nile river. Decades before that it was the Nile river that saved his life when his mother Yocheved placed him in a basket along the Nile river praying that he would float to safety. The Nile watched over Moses, and indeed he lived to become the leader that would help take the Jewish people out of Egypt.
The point of the two Jewish texts was to show the chanichim (campers) that Judaism places a great emphasis on the idea of gratitude. Being grateful isn’t about just saying thank you, rather, it is about carrying with you a sense of being thankful at all times for what has been given to you. With this idea, we talked about the many very generous and charitable individuals that help to make the Ramah summer experience possible to all campers. Spending a summer at Machaneh Ramah is truly a gift, and is made possible through the kindness and the generosity of those near and dear to Ramah. Today was a chance for Adat Ha-Machon to write thank you letters to our donors to tell them just how grateful we are for all of their support in helping to make the dream of a Jewish summer camp experience a reality for the chanichim at CRNE.
Todah Rabah (thank you) to all those who make this possible. It is you through your generosity that not only have you made a profound impact on the Ramah camp community but by giving a Jewish child the opportunity to go to a Jewish summer camp you will have had a lifelong impact on the Jewish journey of our campers and generations to come.