By Debbie Shapiro, Mitzvah Corps Pacific Northwest 2018 Team Leader
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.
Twenty teens from around the country with various skills, abilities and experiences came to Seattle to create a new community- Mitzvah Corps Pacific Northwest Session 2. The spark of the divine in each one collectively illuminated their path and the spaces they entered. The courage to fly across the country alone, the excitement to explore, the willingness to learn about new people and to share about oneself, the invitation to be someone’s partner, the ability to ask for and give were evidence of a strong, unwavering commitment to one another and the ideals of the program.
And God separated dark from light and heaven from earth. God created creatures of all kinds and humankind to watch over them all.
Many have shared their process of emotional and spiritual growth during this first week; the separation of who they were before from who they would become.
Uncertain teens grappling with social pressures and perfectionism now stand grounded in their ability to connect with children who don’t speak their language, their ability to be artistically creative, spontaneous and carefree and most importantly, their ability to intuitively affirm and support one another.
And God saw all he had created and said, “THIS is very good”, marking the sixth day. And on the seventh, God rested.
On this Shabbat, the participants of Mitzvah Corps PNW 2018 can look back on this first week and the day camp they created for refugee children and say, “THIS was VERY GOOD!”