By Malcolm McElheney
Today, Shomrim (6th and 7th graders) celebrated a “bar mitzvah” for their counselor, Sam. They danced, sang, and played games as a community. This celebration was all part of their lesson on “simcha”, the Jewish value of joy. They discussed why we party so hard at our life cycle events.
In Judaism, a simcha is not just for the individual, but it is a celebration for the entire community. Births, baby namings, b’nai mitzvah and the like are “wins” for the community who at many times in history and in many places around the world even today, can not have lavish celebrations.
As many of our campers are getting ready to start their b’nai mitzvah process, it is important for them to see how the whole community celebrates, for the individual, because each simcha serves to make the whole Jewish community stronger.