Boker Tzrif with Nivonim & Amitzim — Changing Sparks with Rabbi Gordon Tucker

What do Moshe, Har Nevo, and the Palmer Golf Cart’s spark plug all have in common? Rabbi Gordon Tucker presented this lesson on Boker Tzrif (the Palmer morning dedicated to doing various activities together with your own bunkmates and counselors) to the chanichim (campers) of adat-haNivonim and adat-haAmitzim.  The answer in each instance is that there is an empty, open space without which the necessary energy and passion is missing.  As we near the end of the Torah in our Torah-reading cycle, Moshe is at Har Nevo, and looking out at yearning for the Land that he will ultimately not reach.  There is an empty, open space between him and the Land.  Likewise, with a spark plug, there is an empty, open space that is necessary for the spark and resultant combustion to occur.   Electrical energy is transmitted through the spark plug, jumping the gap in the plug’s firing end if the voltage supplied to the plug is high enough. This electrical spark ignites the gasoline/air mixture in the combustion chamber.

Rabbi Tucker shared the poem Mineged by Rahel (below, English translation: Rabbi Tucker) that enunciates this beautifully.  Remember: Rahel. Moshe. Har Nevo. Spark plugs. Only here at Palmer.

(מִנֶגֶד — (רחל
קַשוב הַלֵב. הָאֹזֶן קַשֶבֶת:
הֲבָא? הֲיָבוא?
בְכָל צִפִיָה
יֵש עֶצֶב נְבו.
זֶה מול זֶה – הַחופִים הַשְנַיִם
שֶל נַחַל אֶחָד.
צור הַגְזֵרָה:
רְחוקִים לָעַד.
פָרֹש כַפַיִם. רָאֹה מִנֶגֶד
שָמָה – אֵין בָא,
אִיש ונְבו לו
עַל אֶרֶץ רַבָה.
An expectant heart; an attentive ear:
Has he arrived? Will he go?
Every hope veils
The melancholy of Nebo
Nearly touching are
Twin banks of the single brook
But the immovable decree says
Forever apart, they may only look
So spread your arms, and gaze across
But expect not to arrive
For the Nebos of every human
Fill the earth far and wide

Categories: Amitzim, Boker Tzrif, Nivonim