Shabbat in Solelim – and the Power of Speech
Shalom! Our theme for this past Shabbat in Solelim was the power of speech and how it affects ourselves and others. We have been talking since our Yom Meyuchad (specially-programmed day) on Tuesday about the power of Bila'am's curse/blessing to the Jewish people and how G-d made different words come out of Bila'am's mouth. On Tuesday, we sat in discussion groups and spoke about talking donkeys and Bila'am's blessing and what it means when someone 'curses' or 'blesses' us. We went around to each Solelimer and asked them to think of examples of when someone has said something not nice or mean as opposed to a compliment or something nice. The kids seemed to internalize the message. Then, this past Shabbat we had a Dvar Torah given by Ethan Katz, who spoke about how sometimes when we speak we just blurt things out without intending to say something hurtful.
On Shabbat afternoon we did a great peulat Shabbat (Shabbat activity) where two of our female madrichot (counsleors) – Emily and Tamar – presented a short skit with words and actions and then had volunteers leave and return in order to then pass on the message in mime. Each volunteer came in to the room and did a couple of imitations of the miming, but along each step of the way part of the message got lost. It taught us that when we speak about others and tell stories, even if they are true, the message gets muddled along the way.