In just a few days, we will enter into a new year, 5777, and over the course of the next few weeks, we have the opportunity to take stock of the year that is coming to a close and consider how we want to spend our time and represent ourselves in the year to come.
The parsha (Torah portion) we read this week is Nitzavim, meaning “standing together” and touches on themes of responsibility, community and the choices we make in our everyday lives.
Often we hear the phrase, “we were all at Mt. Sinai” and it is this very parsha that this idea springs from. Moses is telling the Israelites about the covenant with G-d and all it entails and he makes it a point to include everyone … those who were physically there and every generation of Jews to come. This means that we – all of us, all Jews at every moment in time- were all standing together at Mt. Sinai.
Wow. That’s a little hard to wrap your brain around. So, let’s think of it in sports terms: the moment you become a member of a team and you earn your jersey, you are embodying what it means to be part of that particular team. All of the expectations, values and traditions become yours. You are a model, not only for your current teammates, but you are also building culture for that team for years to come; you are connected to every player that came before you and every player that will come after you that wears that jersey. This also extends to parents and fans – the way we conduct ourselves, when we are associated with a team in any role, is a direct reflection on that team!
This brings us to the other themes of Nitzavim – responsibility and the freedom of choice. We have full control over how we chose to represent the teams of which we are a part. When we exhibit good sportsmanship, humility, work ethic and respect for the game and our opponent – on the court, after the game, on social media, after the season – we are showing that we have pride in who we are and the team we represent.
It’s like our value bracelets at camp – even though you aren’t at camp anymore, many of us are still wearing the bracelets we’ve earned, representing every moment we spent improving and growing: representing the 6 Points community. In the few months since camp ended, many of us have started school or club sports teams. We hope that the “Value Bracelet Worthy” moments at camp are still shining brightly and influencing how you chose to live as a Jewish athlete.
We want to hear from you – what moments have you experienced since camp ended that are Value Bracelet Worthy? How are you continuing to embody those values? Is there a value that you are particularly focused on right now that you want to cultivate more in yourself or in your teammates? Submit your responses here – we will highlight a selection of your stories during the coming weeks via social media and our blog.
May you have a meaningful High Holy Day experience that will be the spring-board to a sweet, inspirational year filled with growth and joy. L’shana tova u’metuka!