As summer of 2019 comes to an end and we usher in 5779, the sky gets dark earlier, the hot days turn cooler and we plan for the High Holidays with renewed, Tikvah, hope, for peace, health, laughter and sanity in our world.
I don’t have to dwell on the sanity I’m referring to, but here is an aspect I never thought I would have to consider: My 15-year-old granddaughter recently returned from three weeks at her beloved Jewish summer camp, Camp Newman — which burnt down in the Santa Rosa fires last year and has been relocated till the new campsite is rebuilt — with excitement over the activities she participated in. Besides the expected arts, crafts, swimming, hiking, singing, Israeli dancing and Shabbat, her group traveled to Sacramento to lobby for Immigration Laws and Criminal Justice Reform.
How many of you went to summer camp and spoke to legislators and lobbyists about issues that plagued our country? I have to guess not many, if any! Am I proud of her and her devotion to Tikkun Olam, Repairing the World? YES! I’m beyond kvelling about her involvement in her Jewish projects and leadership effort!
But is this what our kids have to deal with while growing up and being a kid? Kids should be kids for as long as they can and do kid’s stuff. Summer camp is about the hazy/lazy days of summer, away from home, having fun, participating in what kids do best during summer! Having fun.
The world has changed, summertime camp and the activities have changed, and being a Jewish teen has moved to new and more responsible programming.
Tikkun Olam is not new. I remember some of the programs I experienced, but, I have to say, not to the extent our kids today are lobbying, marching and raising money for in today’s world (the older camp group raised almost $40K for AIDS this past year).
As Jews, we try to teach our kids to reach out into the community and become ambassadors of goodwill, know Tzedakah, righteousness, charitable giving, while promoting the Jewish ideal within each person to partner with G-d and strive to make sure we contribute to make the world a better place.
Blessings and continued accomplishments to our Jewish camps and organizations while they educate and help develop the future leaders in our communities, states and country. And to all the kids, like my granddaughter Ari, and my other three grandkids, who teach, work with and for their Temple, Sunday School, camps and local Reform teen organizations, I wish you many successes in your hard work and dedication to your Judaism and may the New Year bring you much joy and happiness in doing for others.
And to help lighten our Days of Awe, I want to bring you Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur blessings with a few moments of chuckles that I hope gets you through difficult times. Please do a mitzvah this High Holiday season and share a laugh with someone who may need one, or just be good to yourself and take a moment to chuckle! Laughter is a recipe for feeding our soul.
La Shanah Tova,
Giggle! Laugh! Ha-Ha! Smile!
*Someone just honked to get me out of my parking spot faster, so now I have to sit here until both of us are dead!
*Barbie didn’t give me a poor body image; Barbie taught me you can’t reattach a head once it’s been removed from the body!
*I’m the MAN of the house, so starting tomorrow I want you to have a hot, delicious meal ready for me the second I walk thru the door…Afterwards, while watching ESPN and relaxing in my chair, you’ll bring me my slippers and then run my bath…And when I’m done with my bath, guess who’s going to dress me and comb my hair?….WOMAN of the house: The funeral director!
*So, I had a little mix up at the store today. The hot, young cashier looked at me and said, “Strip down, facing me.” Apparently, this was in reference to my credit card. Please send bail money.
1. What happens at Grandma’s house stays at Grandma’s house.
2. You may eat whatever the hell you want, whenever the hell you want.
3. Electronics time will be strictly limited to 14 hours a day.
4. Unlike your mother, Grandma is, in fact, your maid.
5. Good manners are mandatory, unless you’re preoccupied watching something you’re not allowed to watch at home, in which case no acknowledgment is necessary.
6. None of that “But-all-the-nutrients-are-in-the-crust” bullshit. I’ll cut off the crust without your having to ask.
7. By “milk” Grandma assumes you mean “chocolate milk.”
8. If you go to the store with Grandma, you will get a toy. A good toy.
9. Fudgesicles count as dairy AND they count as breakfast.
10. In general, anything your mother/father would have NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS BEEN ALLOWED TO DO AS A CHILD, is perfectly acceptable with Grandma.
*Life is short. If you can’t laugh at yourself, call me, I will!
*Four-year-old on the phone: “Jesus, grandma! It’s not that hard! Go into Settings…select Wi-Fi…Select it! Tap it with your finger!…oh for F-CK sake, Grandma! If I can do it, you can do it!”
*You are dust, you will return to dust…That’s why I don’t dust, it could be someone I know!
*Question: What is your sexual fantasy? Answer: He dies during foreplay and leaves me $80,000 in his will!
*My ability to remember song lyrics from the 80s far exceeds my ability to remember why I walked into the kitchen!
*Photo of a tombstone: I just tried that new APP that shows what you’ll look like in 40 years!
*Pro-active TIP: In the event of a natural disaster like a tornado, earthquake or flood, put hot-dogs, corned beef and cheese in your pockets so that the search dogs find you first! You’re welcome!
*DAY 12 without chocolate: Lost hearing in my left eye!
*Never leave home without a hug, a kiss and an “I love you,” then remove the dog hair from your mouth as you walk out the door.
*I stopped understanding math when the alphabet decided to get involved.
*The only trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off!!
*MY TO DO LIST: 1. Buy 4 pigs. 2. Paint numbers 1,2,3, and 5 on their backs. 3. Release them at the mall. 4. Sit back and watch security desperately search for #4!!
*I yelled, “COW!” at a woman on a bike and she gave me the finger. Then she plowed her bike straight into the cow! I tried.
*Wife texts husband on a cold winter morning: “Windows frozen, won’t open.” Husband texts back: “Gently pour some lukewarm water over it and gently tap edges with a hammer.” Wife texts back 5 minutes later: “Computer really messed up now.”
*MOMS NOW VS MOMS THEN!:
-“That word is inappropriate” versus “Say that again and I’ll wash your mouth out with soap!”
–“Good job trying one bite of the dinner I made. Now you can have Mac & Cheese” versus “You’ll eat what I make, whether you like it or not! There are starving children in Europe!”
–“I can see you’re upset. Take a deep breath and use your words” versus “You better stop crying or I’ll REALLY give you something to cry about!”
–“You can’t walk around the corner by yourself. I’ll drive you. Text me when you’re ready to come home” versus “You want to go out? Get on your bike and go! Be home by dark!”
–“I packed your Superhero lunch bag with almond butter on whole-grain bread, kale chips and an organic smoothie” versus “Take a brown bag with a bologna sandwich on Wonder Bread. Grab a Twinkie and a Hawaiian Punch.”
-We will be closed on Monday, February 18th, in observance of 44 out of our 45 Presidents!”
As a Baby Boomer Bubbe who still feels 18 but has four grand kids to prove this is the 21 Century, Sandra writes to leave a legacy for the next generations. Her belief that these precious kids need to know their cultural and family’s past in order for them to live their future is all the muse she needs!
She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and Cross Cultural studies, has written a family history, personal memoir and is completing her first novel.
Her grandmother’s journey to America and life is her source for her deep belief and love for Judaism.