Friday, April 17, 2015

#BlogBOmer: Hod B'Gevurah

Somewhat caught up--although a new blog post will have to be written sometime between tonight & tomorrow night in order to really be back in the game! Hod B'Gevurah or the ability to make humility a special type of discipline. This post is inspired by and dedicated to Esti S (P!).

First things first: on my first ever trip to Israel without Esti in my immediate staff team this winter, I had probably my worst day ever on a Birthright trip (well...up until that point anyway). I was trying to breathe in the crowd that was ridiculous as a #Taglit event in the Bedouin tents where a million people were staying all at one night. Exhausted and frustrated and in pretty regular contact with Andy over some major things happening at home, I found myself really missing Esti's cheer and calm in my life. A few minutes before our meal was served, I was tapped on the shoulder...ESTI WAS THERE! Bursting into tears and hugging her really tightly, I basked in the sunshine and support that IS Esti.

Esti's got a GOAT!
(Ran fell in love with the goats)
Photo Cred: ME!

What most people don't know about Esti is how humble she is in the organizing and managing of all of the Birthright trips, whether she's rakazing, working behind the scenes, or celebrating secretly-staged Shabbat staff onegs (or attempting to buy me York peppermint patties in Israel...and FAILING. But then she bought me ice cream...and that's what counts). Her discipline whether in managing exhausted and cranky dehydrated trip participants (or staff members) is amazing...she manages everything with a cheery tone, a smile, and a calm demeanor that ends up passing on to her sometimes stressed-out and always sleep-deprived staff members. But Esti never asks to be in the foreground, is always willing to sing into the mic if late, and is always ready to be the support or the backup that's needed in any scary situation. 

In my own Birthright experience, I've often been given the position as the lead staff person on our Birthright trips, often being teamed with first-time staff members and having the opportunity to mentor and guide. This summer I'll have the ability to work on my own balance of humility and discipline as a support staff on our campus trip--I will definitely look to Esti as my exemplar. I hope to be able to handle daily activities and needs with the tact, grace, and enthusiasm that Esti brings to the table--thanks for inspiring me to work on these parts of me in tandem, Esti!!! 


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