Ilanot: Bunk 21 has Wacky Wednesday and Leads Tefila — Better Count your Marbles!
Our Adat ha-Ilanot had a wonderfully robust Tefila this morning, led by Tzrif (bunk) 21 chanichim (campers). To add a little spice, Bunk 21 chanichim were also celebrating Wacky Wednesday in their full wacky regalia.
Their rosh Edah, Andy W., told a follow-up story to the Rabbi Lumberjack story he told Ilanot earlier this session, about all the varied and valid ways that we pray. Today’s story was set in the holy, mystical and spiritual city of Tsfat, the home of the kabbalists. The story told of a young boy who only knew how to chant the Alefbet in Hebrew; he could not remember, memorize, or read any of the Hebrew or prayers in the siddur or machzor. At the shul he attended, he repeated the Alefbet over and over, at the same time that the rest of the congregation was chanting the “correct” prayers from the siddur or machzor, even on the most solemn day of Yom Kippur. While some of the other congregants grumbled in annoyance, the Rabbi validated the chanting of the Alefbet as an equally powerful way to pray. Even the chanting of one word or a simple Niggun (tune) “counts” as prayer.
At the conclusion of Tefila, Andy reminded the chanichim that this will be a hot, humid day — so wear a hat, apply sunscreen, and always drink water. Finally, the Tefila ended with each tzrif placing their “marbles” into a jar; each marble represents a good, positive behavior that was exhibited this week in the tzrif and between the chanichim. This fun, concrete manifestation of good deeds is positive reinforcement for the strong relationship-building and teamwork that we are proud of here at Palmer.