Zerizut: Getting Psyched for Camp!

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Wow! As I am writing to you, over 350 campers are registered to be welcomed home to Jacobs Camp in the summer of 2021. Over 250 on the first day alone!

I’m reminded of a middah, a soul-trait, that we practice in mussar, Jewish spiritual discipline: zerizut. That word isn’t easily translated into English. Most books use words like “alacrity” or “zeal,” but I prefer a phrase: “acting with enthusiasm.” Jacobs Camp families mustered tremendous zerizut as soon as priority registration went live, with new families hopping on board at their first opportunity, too. 

So how do we retain that zerizut, continuing to act enthusiastically between now and June?

  1. Stay in touch with camp friends! Nobody is living “normally” these days. Friends around the corner might as well be two states away. The flip side is that friends who are two states away might as well be around the corner. Hang out with your camp friends and plan your fun for ’21.
  2. If you haven’t registered yet, act now! If you’re already registered, make sure that your friends have registered! Space is going fast. 
  3. Give first session a try! Even if you prefer second session, if your unit is full for that session, muster the zerizut to try something new. Some people (like a couple hundred of them) claim that first session is the best!
  4. Participate in Jewish life in your own community. Whether Religious School is online, in person, or somewhere in between, the learning and sense of community are real. Jacobs Camp and your home congregation are partners in building our Jewish future.
  5. Get psyched for Jacobs Camp to come to you! Get ready to welcome Anna, Nadav, Sarah, and Jacob home to your community, as they work to build even more zerizut to welcome you home next summer.
  6. Help make Jacobs Camp a reality in this challenging time with a gift to the Road to Welcome Home Campaign.

Yes, we all do need to grind through seven or eight more months before we get that big welcome home at the gate, but Jacobs campers and their families have more than enough zerizut to get us there!

Rabbi Barry Block is the Faculty Dean of Jacobs Camp. Rabbi Block serves at Congregation B’nai Israel in Little Rock, AR.