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Sizzlin' Shabbat

Shabbat at AS is always special. We began the evening with an enthusiastic Kabbalat Shabbat, complete with singing and dancing. This week, only 10 of the children remained at the home for Shabbat, and therefore we wanted to make each of them feel special and valued. We did this by writing each of them a Shabbat O Gram, containing a personalised sweet message for them. As they read the cards, you could see in each child's face that they were touched by them. After dinner we had a Q&A with the coordinators, asking for advice on everything and anything. This was a great time for us to ask inspirational people who we respect so much important questions that could help guide us in the future. This night was also special since you could see how many people in our team were growing out of their shells and becoming more involved with the whole group. The night closed with one question that captivated us all due to its insightfulness: Why does Gabe Low only own Lulu Lemon clothing? The highly anticipated answer was: quality and comfort is unparalleled. Shabbat afternoon was a beautiful time to relax and rest from the restless week we had just gone through. I was tasked with preparing a Dvar Torah for the parasha of this week. I focused on the theme of heroism that runs through both the parasha and the haftara. There were a range of inspirational heroes this week, from Pinchas to the daughters of Selofhad to Eliyahu. All of these remarkable people stepped out of their comfort zone to solve the worlds issues and fix a broken world. I felt this had a lot of resonance with what we are doing here at the home. We have all stepped out of comfort zones, if it is the language barrier, or meeting new people, or trying to be active all the time, our time here has allowed all of us to step out of our comfort zone and help tackle a large societal problem. All these heroes had a commonality; they all stepped into adversity and aimed to affect change for the better. My Rabbi taught me the beautiful message that life touches each of us in meaningful ways. We can either be passive in life's flow and not affect the world, or we can step up and use our qualities to change the world. This weeks parasha and haftara shows us that creation and the world are not perfect. However, due to our covenant with Hashem, we all have to be more than just spectators in life. By helping these disenfranchised children, who are on the outskirts of society, we are fulfilling our covenant with Hashem and are doing our part to make the world a better place. I reminded all of the volunteers that they are all heroes for their work here, and should continue to help tackle societal problems in the future. One of the highlights of the day was when we helped clean the dishes with the kids after Shabbat. We blasted music and transformed mundane chores into a fun activity - and the kids absolutely loved it. As of yet, we are preparing for a barbecue, and look forward to the week ahead. The Shabbat allowed us to step back from the crazy week and contemplate the real importance of what we are doing here. We all look forward to going out the next week and making this week better than the last.

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