Parshat Noah, Sukkot, and Performing Arts by Mark Lazar | Camp Ramah Northern California

Parshat Noah, Sukkot, and Performing Arts by Mark Lazar

As I sit here in Tel Aviv, contemplating this week’s Torah Portion, Noah, and its relationship to Camp Ramah Galim, my mind rattles with endless connections. Obviously the grand Pacific Ocean, and the sightings of nature above and below, reminds us of the endless flow of rain showering down from the heavens. Whether it be whales, dolphins or seals, one can’t help but get excited about these glorious beasts. And occasionally, we are reminded of the flood with light drizzle which keeps the scenery green.

What did Noah contemplate on the ark in terms of building a new community after the water receded? What values did he dream would replace the old selfish and destructive society which God found to destroy as per the ancient text? 

At Ramah Galim, community, based on love and respect of each and every individual and love of Jewish values permeates the environment. The goal is to provide a safe haven for each and every camper (and staff member) to explore themselves, others, Judaism and their personal course of exploration whether it be around nature, water or, in my case, performing arts. 

The portion concludes with the story of the Tower of Babel, a fable which attempts to explain the evolution from one common language and people to that of seventy nations and languages. Although we do have a climbing wall, our goal is to create one common language…and one people… while preserving the richness of our diverse gifts.

After an amazing Sukkot where I had the opportunity to be part of the Ramah Galim staff in a forest of Sequoias with Sukkot programming for Yavneh Day School, and after an amazing summer past, I am very much looking forward to returning this coming summer as the Director of Performing Arts.

Lights, camera, action—Summer 2020! Hope to see your youth there!