Finding Ruach Through Watercolors
The Limud (education) program at Camp Ramah New England takes advantage of camp’s informal environment to engage students in the study of Torah in creative ways. Limud staff members share their love of Torah with the chanichim and enfuse the learning with stories, art, music, nature.
This past week, chanichim (campers) explored the concept of ruach (spirit) with Rabbi Nelly Altenburger using a food coloring technique as a metaphor for finding ruach in t’fillah (prayer) and shira (song) at camp. The goal of the peulah (program) was to have chanichim have an awareness that ruach can mean both spirit and wind, and that they carry that ability within. Rabbi Altenburger then had a short discussion with the chanichim about ruach in t’fillah and shira.
Rabbi Altenburger then demonstrated a simple watercolor technique to the chanichim – a drop or two of food coloring is dropped onto paper, and using a straw the chanich blows the food coloring around, allowing it to mix and create branches. She explained that food coloring is good for this activity because of its viscosity – watercolors are just too watery.
The chanichim were invited to make patterns with painter’s tape before setting the drops of the food coloring. One particular group thought that window patterns would be good.
Rabbi Altenburger shared that everyone had a fantastic time, and chanichim also exercised their ability to share, given that there were only 12 different containers of food coloring with 12 different colors. It was a great time all around!