The Pandemic Time Zone
Rabbi B. Elka Abrahamson
My summer camp had its own time zone. Literally. We would scurry off the bus, shriek with joy and immediately change our watches (yes, watches). While the country enjoyed an extra hour of sun, camp used what was affectionately called Herzl Time (HT). While the rest of the world craved more daylight, the all-powerful camp administration deemed it wiser to maintain earlier sunsets. When we uttered the ma’ariv aravim prayer each evening, it coincided with the great mixing of day and night’s colors, blue to orange to pink sky reflecting on still lake waters. Campfires burned brighter and dark of night crept in conveniently synced with “light out.” While we understood the technical reasons for camp time, we were captivated by its loftier symbolism. Camp was our magical destination, a place so special, so removed from school and the rhythm of the year, it merited its own time zone. As summer 2021 approaches, I pray that thousands of kids will return safely to camp time.