Join with me now: (To the tune of “We’re Off to See the Wizard”)
Today is Yom Shishi, Yom Shishi is day six, Yom Shishi is day six and that’s the day we get our kicks, because tomorrow is Shabbat the day we like a lot a lot, a lot a lot a lot a lot a looooot, Because tomorrow is Shabbat (do dot do do do do dot), Today is Yom Shishi, Yom Shishi is day six!!!!!!!
As a child I went to a summer camp
in Southern California that was crazy about Israeli Dance, Song Session and Shabbat prep. I spent many a summer in the hills of Brandeis, CA getting sun burned, making good friends and building the framework of my Jewish identity. One of the senior staff members would always introduce the above song as something that someone else would sing on Friday mornings, as we ate breakfast on the dance pavilion so the dinning room could be cleaned for Shabbat. It was camp, so the story would get more and more exciting each time. My guess, by now, the writer of this song was Harold Arlen
with lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
. (They wrote the original…)
Ten years later, I was working at Greene Family Camp in Bruceville, TX
as a cabin counselor and I asked if I could lead the camp in the Yom Shishi
song. The kids loved it; the staff hated me. While the kids would leave breakfast singing this song at the top of their lungs, the staff would shoot me with their eyes asking why oh why would a grown man (ok just a kid in his twenties) introduce such a get-stuck-in-your-head kind of song.
This is why: Camp Shabbat is something special. I loved getting dressed in all white. I loved listening to the boys’ head counselor give his Shabbat speech. I loved walking together, having services, eating dinner, singing songs and dancing until late in the evening. The kids might remember this song or most likely they do not. But it doesn’t matter. Because on those Friday mornings, they got a little song, a bounce in the step and were excited to welcome the Sabbath Bride.