Its take home message is Dayenu! You did enough!
For awhile now I have been worrying that my kids really aren't that "into" their Judaism anymore. They don't want to go to shul with us and they come to holidays for the food and friends. Of course this whole fear becomes magnified when you are an entire family of Jews by Choice. Did I do enough? Should I have pushed harder? Should we have helped them find more Jewish friends their age? ....and on and on.
Well several weeks ago I found my 27 year old son visiting our house rummaging around in the cabinet where I keep the Shabbat candles. "Mom," he asks, "Can I take our Shabbat candlesticks and Havdalah set with me to Burning Man?"
Turns out he planned to lead Shabbat and Havdalah candle lighting for his "tribe" at Burning Man comprised of numerous Jews. He said he was inspired to do it because he remembered all the years of Havdalah under the stars at Camp Newman. He still hasn't returned them, and honestly I hope he doesn't. They are his now. L'Dor V’dor.
Meanwhile, our 30 year old daughter living on the east coast called this week to say she misses us and wants to come home for Hanukkah. I asked when she wants to come. She said, “all eight nights.”
Our youngest got teary when we talked about Camp Newman burning down. He launched into his memories of Camp Newman and Camp Tzofim and how he hopes one day if he has kids they can go away to Jewish summer camp.