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Why Join Us For Shabbaton? Top Seven Answers

Q. What does camping have to do with Judaism?
A. One of the greatest lessons of our tradition is the importance of being grateful. We’re not grateful for the extraordinary victories and rare accomplishments, but rather for the everyday miracles. Being out in nature opens our eyes to God’s most precious gifts:  life, beauty, family and friends.

Q. Can’t we just have an outdoor service at Temple Beth Am?
A. Of course, and that is a good idea. However, throughout the years I have heard the following line from dozens of people: “I am spiritual but not religious.” When I ask them to elaborate they continue: “The only times I really feel God’s presence are when I am in the mountains; walking by the beach; or seeing a spectacular sunset.” To many, nature brings God close to us.

Q. Okay, but can’t I go with my family whenever I want?
A. Yes, you can! but you won’t... Remember the last time you took a vacation? You had a great time on the beach and then you realized that you actually live five minutes away from an even more beautiful beach to which you hardly ever go. You decide at that moment that upon your return to the beautiful Palm Beach area you will spend much more time by the ocean. Unfortunately, you never did.

Q. Do I have to camp overnight to enjoy the experience?
A. You can stay overnight, join us for a day and/or come back the next day after sleeping at home. While some of us find pleasure in giving up the comfort of our soft sheets and the luxury of private bathrooms for a day or two, many people decide to go home after a fantastic day of fun.

Q. Is it going to feel like school, when every minute is scheduled?
A. TBA staff and volunteers, with a lot of help from the knowledgeable and enthusiastic Park Rangers, prepared a menu of activities taking advantage of the beauty and the resources of Jonathan Dickinson Park. You may choose to participate in some of these activities, do your own thing, or simply lean back and relax.

Q. Can you give me some examples of really extraordinary activities that will be available?
A. If you never tried Geocaching here is your opportunity. Geocaching is a family-friendly, fun, new activity that combines high-tech gadgetry with low-tech enjoyment of the great outdoors. It’s actually a modern-day version of a treasure hunt or a scavenger hunt; folks hide “caches” in the woods, which are usually something like a Tupperware container or a steel ammo box, containing little trinkets or logbooks or such. The GPS coordinates for the cache are posted on a website, and people go out and search with their handheld GPS units. When they discover a new cache, they might log in on the enclosed book, or take a trinket while leaving one of their own, etc.

Q. Anything else?
A. Sure. You can join a two hour boat ride on the river, rent a kayak or a canoe, hike, bike, go on a hayride and even go horseback riding.  There is a reason why Jonathan Dickinson is considered to be one of the best parks in Florida.

I truly hope I have convinced you to join us on this very special weekend, Saturday, February 8. 

See you at the park! 
Rabbi Alon Levkovitz 

Fri, December 4 2020 18 Kislev 5781