Alternative Winter Break A Lifetime of Shabbatot

By Year Round Programs
Salo perfecting his grilling skills at PATH

Today marks the first AWB Shabbat I have done in my lifetime. Also, it is close to the last YJ Shabbat I will ever experience as a camper. Now for most people this might mean really nothing. But, to me it means the world. Young Judaea has taught me many skills and attributes, and Shabbat is the time to look back at what we  have learned throughout the week. So as I sit and watch all the sprout kids sing siyum I start to tear and reminisce. I remember my first CJ Shabbat singing alone, when suddenly I am gathered around a huge crowd of people singing shira shketa. I remember when I was welcomed by such a close family. I remember when I gained another family. I remember the amazing times I’ve had. I remember when I became a leader. Ever since I have joined Young Judaea shabbat has been a different type of day for me. This summer I went on Machon. An amazing Israel trip ran by Young Judaea. On this trip we were allowed a free weekend. Free weekend is when you are allowed (with the acceptance of a guardian) to go out and explore Israel differently. Without a tour guide. My friend had a house in Haifa. So, me and 10 of my amazing friends stayed there. While we were all hanging out we realized these were one of the last Shabbatot together. So, we cooked food gathered around a table and sang. We sang and had one of the best times of my lifetime. So as I sit in this room on Alternative Winter Break I tear up because nothing I say will ever compare to what I have experienced and felt with this movement. I have now created my own definition for Shabbat. I also hope that others have defined it for themselves throughout there life. But, I am glad YJ has shaped it into what it is for me. A time to reminisce and be with eachother, off the social network, and to live in the present.

~ Salomon “Salo” Levy –  12th Grade, Miami, Florida 

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