This week’s Parsha is Va’Etchanan. The parsha begins with Moshe addressing Bnei Yisrael one final time before he dies. In the speech, he talks about how as Jewish people we have a destiny that will be achieved by following G-d’s laws. Throughout Moshe’s lecture to the Israelites, he reminds them to be thankful for all that G-d has done for them, such as freeing them from Egypt, and providing them with mitzvot. He reminds them to be thankful, and calls on them to be actively appreciative of their kehilah.
At this point in the parsha, I paused. Even though we are not able to be at camp this summer, we can not forget all of the fun memories we’ve made in the past. Just as Moshe made sure that the Israelites did not forget their past before they went into Israel, I had to make sure I could not forget all that Yavneh has given me. Despite the summer being different than what I had envisioned, I am extremely grateful for all the friends and experiences that Yavneh has given me.
As I kept reading Moshe’s speech, I realized that one of its purposes was to remind the Israelites that G-d was with them as they were preparing to fight the Canaanites. The people were scared but Moshe reassured them that they were not alone. Again: this line struck a chord with me. Amidst this pandemic, it is easy to forget that we are not alone. Many of us have been quarantined in our houses for months at a time, far from friends and far from any reminders of camp. But we are not alone. For one thing, we have this amazing community that Yavneh has provided for us, and it is evident in every Shabbat Zemer, every zoom call, and even every time we wear mayim, kovah, and krem haganah. So this Shabbat, if you are missing camp just like I will be, remember that you are not alone, because Yavneh will always be with you.