From the Camp Clipboard: Finding ‘Ma Rabu’ at Camp

Shabbat Shalom Herzl family and friends!

In the traditional shaharit service between the Barchu and the Shema we read a line from Psalm 104, 

מה רבו מעשיך י י 

“Ma Rabu Ma’aseha Adonai; How great are Your creations, Adonai!” Over the last few years we have established a tradition during Kabbalat Shabbat services where one camper from each k’vutzah is asked to share their “Ma Rabu Moment” with the community. Campers are asked to share what moment made them feel awe, what caused them to feel surprised, what made them excited. When I think of a “Ma Rabu Moment” the words of the liturgy jump out to me, “How great are Your creations, Adonai.” 

Prior to this summer, my most recent summer at Herzl Camp was 2014. While much has changed both personally and professionally, seeing the smiles, happiness and joy that our campers and staff carry with them every moment bring me the same emotions every day. How great is this place. How great are these young people. How great is God for creating a world filled with ruach, awe and possibility. 

The second verse of this line reads, “כולם בחכמה עשית Culam B’Hochmah Asita, you have made them all with wisdom.” This pasuk, this line, is spot on. These kids are brilliant. I had the pleasure of leading services with the Taste and Ha’atid Wednesday morning.  Iwas blown away by the questions they asked and the thoughts they shared. They shared how they were grateful for their campers and staff. They shared that family and friends could make any place home. 

Being back in this amazing place makes it so easy for me to authentically say each morning “Ma Rabu Ma’aseha Adonai Culam B’Hochmah Asita – How great are Your creations God, You have made them all with wisdom.”

How great are these campers, You have made them all with wisdom. How great is this community, filled with wisdom, warmth and love.

May you have have a Shabbat filled with peace and joy,


Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Justin “JP” Held 

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