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100 Days of Butterflies: A Tribute To Nechama Leibowitz
March 11, 2010 by Howard Blas


I have been working at camp for sixteen years and directing the Tikvah Program for ten years.  As we are in the final stretch in preparing for Kayitz, 2010,  I admit to feeling a bit nervous.  Will camp be as great as last year?  Will the staff work well together?  Will the campers and staff members grow? 

I take comfort in the words of the late Professor Nechama Leibowitz, as shared by her student, Dr. Joe Freedman, Director of Ramah Programs in Israel.  Joe always tells his staff of the time he approached Professor Leibowitz at the start of one of her famous Parshat Hashavua (Torah Portion of the Week) classes. She politely asked him,  “Can you please come to me after class, kee yesh lee parparim b’beten—I have butterflies in my stomach.” 

If such a gadol hador (giant of the generation) has butterflies in her stomach, it is okay for all of us to have butterflies in our stomachs! I share this story with my staff each summer and take comfort in the fact that I am not alone.