Today was the first Shabbat of the summer that the world will remember as the greatest it has ever seen. The summer that moshiach brought us the beit hamikdash.
I walked around Shlomi and saw 150 people, most of which I've never seen before. I think back to 2 summers ago. There were 60 volunteers going Bet Elezraki and Neve Michael. Last year there were 100 to Neve, Bet El, and Achuzat Sara. this year 150. Each year, Shlomi has to accommodate more and more people who are sacrificing their summers for the sake of others they never met.
On our hike on Friday Rav Yair asked me what the word relationship means and he told me to think about it.
This summer we will inevitably create relationships with Americans, madrichim, and children at our homes. The relationships we create will push us in the future to do chesed, stay in touch with KH, and stay in touch with the kids at the homes.
The first relationships we need to create are those with our American volunteers. These first few days are about creating these relationships. This achievement will allow us to work as a group to create the best summer camp we can make. During the year, we can reminisce with our friends from the summer about our experiences and convince each other to stay involved in any way we can.
The next group of relationships we need to create is our relationship with the kids at our respective homes.
We create relationships because we don't want to be alone. For a child at Neve Michael who has been abandoned by his mother, father, and in some cases siblings and even madrichim, I can't imagine it's hard to feel alone. The relationships we create with the kids is what I think the they value more than anything in the entire world.
All of these relationships we are creating have one thing in common: commitment. We are entering the lives of children who have been abandoned again and again. I believe the commitment and consistency shown by KH volunteers continuing year after year to return to the homes is what can create a difference in the life of a child at risk.
- David Baruch
NM third year volunteer