For any of us who grew up going to camp we can relate to little Becky. Even today there is a special feeling going up to camp that reminds me of that first time I stepped off that bus so many years ago. I was privileged to grow up in a large Jewish community attending a Jewish day school. Thinking about Becky I think about my camp friends who grew up in the coal-mining communities in Pennsylvania. For them it was transformational to live in a vibrant Jewish community of their peers. Seeing their experiences enriched mine. I never took camp for granted and it made me love that community even more. Jewish camp is that home that we need desperately need for the next generation.
Little Becky : Feeling at Home for the First TimePublished November 14, 2014 1.05 Chaye Sarah Leave a Comment
Tags: Camp, Israel, Rebecca, Rivka
Years ago I heard a story of a girl named Becky. She grew up in a small town where she was the only Jewish child. She had many friends, but she was still a little lonely. There was part of her that yearned to be with others who shared her faith, practices, culture, and history. From her earliest days she remembered her family telling that there was a place for her to be with her people. So when she was old enough she decided to go there. She went with someone who had been there before who took her to this special place. As her companion saw the sites signaling that they were getting close Becky echoed that person’s excitement. By the time she got there her heart was palpitating. The minute her foot hit the ground she felt at home for the first time in a place she had never been before.
The only other place that I have had this kind of experience of homecoming to a place I had not been previously is Israel. So, it will not be surprising if you were to learn that the place she went in little Becky’s story was Israel. It might surprise you that this story is actually taken from Chaye Sarah, this week’s Torah portion. Truly years ago, it is the story of Rivka Imeynu, Rebecca our Matriarch. She left the place she grew up to come home to the land of Canaan. Echoing Abraham’s answering God’s call of Lech Lecha- to Go, Rivka says”Ailech- I will go” (Genesis 24:58). Following in his footsteps she goes home to a place she has never been before. It makes me think of “The only journey is the one within.” We are a nation of seekers.