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To travel, to camp, to be flexible

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
Since the beginning of the corona crisis, my family has lived in three different homes on two continents. Perhaps because of this I immediately connected with what educator Aviah Sadeh wrote me concerning her 10th grade students in a girls' boarding school in Even Shmuel.  Her advice is excellent for any time in life that we encounter uncertainty:
"Every day there are new directives. Not all the girls can sleep together every night in the dormitory. They attend school on different days and keep changing their dorm rooms and classrooms. Every week we try to predict which students will arrive and which ones will be learning on Zoom, but for all of us it is difficult to plan ahead. Girls who ask for an exact schedule are forced to hear the following sentence which has become a kind of code: At the bidding of the Lord they traveled, and at the bidding of the Lord, they encamped.
"These are words that appear in our Torah portion and they give strength to my students and to me during these days. They are a wonderful description of our nation's experience in the desert. Sometimes we set up camp for a short period of time and other times for a much longer period.  Sometimes it was comfortable to stay in the same place and other times there was a desire to move on, yet we were forced to remain where we were. But wherever we stopped, we immediately set up the Mishkan (sanctuary), the heart of our camp, even if the very next day we would be forced to take it down, pack it up, and move on.  Just like we did then, we are doing now, exercising our flexibility muscle in our journey, trying to bring out the best in each other at every stop along the way.
I wish success to us all."


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