Shabbat: Celebrated in Camper Poetry by Rabbi Elliot Goldberg

At different points during the summer, Rabbi Elliot Goldberg’s Limud (learning) groups participated in a poetry writing seminar and composed original poems about their experiences during Shabbat at Ramah. 

As the eighth and final Shabbat of the summer draws near, we offer you a selection of poems that we hope will enhance your celebration of Shabbat and give you a taste of Shabbat at Ramah (brownies mentioned, but not included).

Shabbat at Ramah

Selected Poems from the Chanichim (Campers) of Kayitz 2021

Shabbat Candles

The warmth of Shabbos candles on my hand

Light flickers gently on the rim of the tin foil pan

Chatter of the machaneh in the background

I feel at home, safe and sound.


Seeing the candles flicker in the dimming light

Hearing the sound of prayers fill the air

Adding grape juice to our cups

Brownies, oh so sweet and chewy

Breathing the smell of fresh food

At the tent dripping wet

The wonders of Shabbat


Friends swaying in unison

As they sway side to side

The candles shine bright

An orange glow reflecting on their faces

A warm meal awaits us

And the infamous brownies

Are yet to be eaten

Shabbat at Ramah


Sitting in the hadar

Hearing all the sound

All the people singing

Banging, shouting, standing on the benches, not just on the ground

Being here is awesome

The hadar is where we eat and sing

This is an awesome thing


I wake up to no music whatsoever

but to the sound of kids playing together

and as I go out to watch the game

I wonder what the day will bring.

While walking back from nowhere specific

I think about how my Shabbat outfit will be terrific



(The Porch)

Standing here it feels small

but there is more to it.

On the מרפסת, there is fun.

On the מרפסת, there is food.

On the מרפסת, there is activism.

On the מרפסת, there is life.

On the מרפסת…

…there is home


Drafting magic cards

Building a really great deck

It was really fun



I lift my head up and see the disc soaring in the air

I look down at this kid and think its not fair

I jump up with my feet above his hair

I catch the disc over my head and celebrate in the air


Mah Yedidut

I stand in the middle of the moadon

Friends pushing against each other toward the center of the room

Bodies pushing each other

Nai, nai, nai’s surrounding us all

As we scream our favorite song at the top of our lungs

Sweat dripping down our faces

Each jump shaking the floor


We sang songs as we shivered

And the prayers got delivered

We had all the free time

And the Hebrew prayers

Were sublime

It drizzled

And it sizzled

As Shabbat went away


Camp Wide Havdalah

Step in, step out

The feeling of community

Step in, step out

The sizzle of the candle

Step in, step out

The hands of friends around my back

Step in, step out

The sound of many voices mixing together

Step in, step out

Together, everyone,

Separating together.

Categories: Limud, Shabbat