Leading up to Kayitz 2018, each week we will have a D’var Torah from a different Rosh Edah. This week, we have the wisdom of Gavi Kornsgold!
One of my favorite texts from Midrashic literature (rabbinic teachings and tales expounding on Biblical text) tells an untold moment from the Exodus story. As the people of Israel are leaving Egypt, Moshe remembers how the people made an oath to Joseph to bring Joseph’s bones from Egypt, through their wanderings, and into the Land of Israel. Moshe, however, does not know where these bones are to be found so he goes to a woman named Serach bat Asher. Serach was supposedly from the generation of Joseph and knew where the bones were buried. Moshe was then able to retrieve the bones of Joseph and carry the bones along as the people of Israel left Egypt.
What I find most incredible about this midrash is its multi-generational focus. The two main characters here, Moshe and Serach, play polarized roles with Serach as the holder of memory and Moshe as the one to move the people forward. All communities need people like Serach and like Moshe. We need people like Serach to remind us of our memory and our history. We need people like Moshe to use that memory and history to bring people to new places, to learn and try knew new things, and to be with new people.
Camp is no exception of a place which uses the balance of Serach and Moshe. In camp we always need individuals who have institutional memory to remind us of our important traditions, values, and memories. But camp also needs the qualities of Moshe. Camp constantly brings in new faces and new ideas in order to grow, generate, and create new.
May this year and kayitz be filled with tradition as well as creation, with memory as well as creating memories, and with deep values which push us to new and exciting places with people from our past and those from our new futures.
Chag Kasher V’Sameach,