by Sara Tzivia Kamornick.
I am a director of a day camp here in Los Angeles. Over the course of the past two summers, I have had many wonderful conversations with my “neighbor”, Simi Raichic, who runs the Chabad camp right next door. In one of these conversations we debated what we could do to make a difference. Simi suggested a day of Achdus. So that’s exactly what we decided to do.
Tuesday, July 29th, we decided it was time to participate in a different type of “war”. The war for the existence of Klal Yisroel. In a world that is being shaken upside down, we wanted to find ways that we can all stay upright? When our enemies unite with the common goal of our destruction, the only way to defeat them is by uniting as one nation, one family, and one entity. The answer is Achdus.
We have always discussed Ahavas Yisroel and heard inspirational stories, but we need to start practicing it now. We need to start living it meaningfully. Most of all, we need to show the next generation how beautiful it is to live a life where we love one another without judgment and animosity. Our children learn by example and as their greatest supporters we have much to teach.
The camps that came together were Camp Kochavim, Camp Shira, Camp Chayalot and Camp Gan Yisroel of Hancock Park while Rabbi Duchman officiated at the event. It was a wonder to look around the gathering and see the girls’ faces. Nearly 200 girls from different camps were sitting together in the same room. It was fascinating to see how our girls were initially shy, looking at the other campers. The program began as a room full of strangers, but after sharing in a day of tehillim, listening to an inspirational story from Rabbi Weiner, enjoying a variety of entertainment, giving tzeddaka, and singing songs like ani maamin and acheinu, there was a sense of closeness. It was an amazing experience; we were a family and a family with 200 girls. From all different camps and walks of life we came together with the single goal of learning to love and accept one another unconditionally.
The girls sang ” hinei mah tov u’ mah na’im sheves achim gam yochad” (behold how good and pleasant when brothers sit together as one) and the directors looked on with tears in their eyes. We felt we were breaking barriers. It was an exquisite, heartwarming, and inspiring moment.
What do we want? What do we truly desire from the bottom of our hearts? We all want Moshiach. We want to come home to Eretz Yisroel. We know what we want, and we know what to do to get there. The shining faces of these children said it all. We can let go of grudges and hate. We can look past our differences and love one another. We can come home. Iy”H our next Achdus rally will be in Yerushalayim with the Bais Hamikdash rebuilt.
A special “thank you” to Simi Raichik, Chaya Tennenbaum, Sigal Giel, Rabbi Duchman, Rabbi Weiner, and Mendel Goldman for participating in this event and making it a possibility.