2nd Chance

A couple of weeks ago I was in Israel for a training for Summer Shlichim, emissaries sent by Israel to work in summer campers. These Israelis are doing very important work, but I have no doubt that it is also very hard work. Summer camps are designed as intentional communities. People stay in these communities for a long time.  How do these Shlichim become part of the fabric of that community and also create some change?  How do people join communities if they have missed out on so much of the history?  What are the activities which are a prerequisite for membership to the group?

I thought about this again this week on Parshat BeHalotecha. We read about the first Passover offering being sacrificed a year after the initial one during the Exodus from Egypt. We also learn the laws of Pesach Sheini, the makeup Passover offering for those who were unable to bring the Passover lamb at the appropriate time (Numbers 9:1- 14). Membership to the community was predicated by participating in the ritual of the Passover Lamb. 

There are certain activities that we do or have done as a group that truly define the group.  For various reasons people are left out of the group.  How might we integrate these people? Doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance to make the first impression?

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