By: Shakked Fainsod
My name is Shakked Fainsod. I am 21 years old from Israel and I haven’t been to temple since the six’th grade. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I decided to go to GUCI. I have never been to an overnight camp, definitely not in the the US, and as much as “camp life” was unknown to me, the thing I was dreading the most were services.
Funny thing is, I am now at the end of my ninth week away from home, the last week of the second session, and one of my favorite parts of the day is probably services. I didn’t know most prayers before arriving to camp, definitely didn’t know the tunes or the melody, but somehow it all connected.
On “Yom Israel”, the day on camp when we celebrate Israel, I participated in services, and I said:
“I don’t know if I believe in god and the stories that I have been taught, but I do believe in the world.
I believe that everything happens for a reason, that the world knows what it is doing and that are life comes down to our choices. I choose to believe in the goodness of people and that a smile will take you a long way. I choose to believe in community, that the people that surround you will help you when in need. I choose to believe that there are multiple places where you can feel safe and that it is a matter of choice if a place becomes your own.”
I think that one of the reasons i love services is the way we do them at GUCI, the fact that we sit all of camp together in our beautiful Beit Tefilah, the fact that we sing most of our prayers, and the fact that if you close your eyes you can hear every beautiful and unique voice on camp come together.
Services, for me, strongly represent the amazing sense of community and love you can find at GUCI. So to quote the one and only Dan Nichols, “I don’t know what I believe, but I believe in love”, and that to me is the base of my faith and spiritual path.