The Official Jewish Songbook

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The Recess Bell Rings

The recess bell rings, the children run out

But I remain behind

Engrossed in my thoughts, thinking out loud

A picture appears in my mind

A few weeks ago, I hardly knew

The meaning of being a Jew

But now in Yeshiva I do learn

Gan Yisroel, my thanks to you

Remembering my counselor’s devotion

His kind words filled with emotion

How can I forget the times that we spent

Oh, why do they have to end

Remembering the friends that I made

The times we laughed, the times we played

While learning the meaning of being a Jew

Gan Yisroel, my thanks to you

The Dry, Shriveled Seed

(T.T.T.O. A Gute Voch—Avraham Fried)

The dry, shriveled seed

How lifeless it seems

Its beauty and splendor

Locked deeply within
Planted in pure soil

No chances to spoil

A young, healthy tree

Now comes to be

The seed is what I once was

The strong, healthy tree is what I’ve become

Planted and nurtured in the rich, fertile soil

Of the beautiful gardens of Gan Yisroel

Both healthy and strong to remain

The spirit of Gan Yisroel I must always retain

The Chayus, the themes, the breathtaking scenes

That makes up the Gan Yisroel dream

Deep Winter Has Set In

(T.T.T.O. Sharm El Sheikh—Jo Amar)

Deep winter has set in

The snowdrifts are piled

They’re dripping like teardrops

From the bunks where we smiled
The shul where we davened

So lifeless and gray

The fields which we played in

So dull, not the same

Oh, dear Gan Yisroel

Your grounds will soon echo our steps

We’ll never forsake you

No, we’ll never forget

Oh, dear Gan Yisroel

Your halls will soon ring with our cheers

‘Cause we’ll keep returning

Year after year

My Counselor’s Care For Me

(T.T.T.O. Ovinu Ov Horachamon)

My counselor’s care for me

Etched into my memory

His stories, his songs, I still hear

Nostalgia brings me to tears
Many years have passed by

Now it is my turn to try

My campers to educate

My counselors to emulate

No time to waste

Work with great haste

Like shkeidim, so quick to grow

The Rebbe, so dear

Has made it so clear

For this, we learn all year

The trunks are all packed away

Tearful goodbyes we say

Counselor, my campers say to me

Like you we want to be

Dear Rebbe, I Am Writing To You

(T.T.T.O. Ke’ayol Taarog—Tzlil V’zemer)

Dear Rebbe, I am writing to you

To thank you from the bottom of my heart

For a summer, oh so dear

My eyes swell up with tears

From camp, it’s so difficult to part

We learn about Moshiach each day

For your gezunt, we do pray

Our song and our laughter

Our spirits soaring high

The Rebbe’s children at play

Oy yoy yoy, Rebbe, have nachas from me

A Chossid, I will now strive to be

Gan Yisroel, your camp is

The garden you planted

Who are the Peiros, if not we

Oh Gan Yisroel, your joy and your pride

How it hurts me to say goodbye

Thank you, dear Rebbe

Thus ending my letter

As I wipe the tears from my eyes

There Chirps A Robin

(T.T.T.O. Al Eileh)

There chirps a robin

Up in the treetops

The waves are rolling

Upon the lake
Melodies of learning

Flow through the forest

Campfires burning

Beneath the stars

Oh, Gan Yisroel

How can I leave you

Those precious moments

I’ll never part

‘Tis Gan Yisroel

I shall be bound to

And never let you

Out of my heart

On A Still December Day

(T.T.T.O. Al Zeh Hoyoh)

On a still December day

With snow upon the winding way

To camp, my friend, I do return

It’s been so long, for you I yearn

To camp, my friend, I do return

It’s been so long, for you I yearn
The silent bunks upon the hill

So empty now, so very still

The shouts of joy, oh where, oh where

All gone now, it brings a tear

On a still December day…
The frozen lake where we did wade

The darkened shul, once there we prayed

A flagpole stands, oh, so alone

The thought of it chills my bone

I leave you now, feeling more alive

The snow will melt, summer arrive

Chayus and zest we’ll see again

Davening, learning, with a bren

Chayus and zest we’ll see again

Davening, learning, with a bren

Oh, Why Do You Cry

(T.T.T.O. Im Avonos)

Oh, why do you cry, my dear Dovidel

Now’s not the time for tears

Your eight weeks in camp were most enjoyable

You’ve made friends for future years
Oh, why do you sigh, my dear Dovidel

What do you fear to forsake

A hike through scenic countryside

A refreshing swim in the lake

The spirit of Shabbos soaring so high

Circus day, what a thrill

Whispered talk of the day gone by

While all the camp was still

Yes, I do long for those precious moments

But now my eyes are dry

I’ll look ahead to the coming summer

But counselor, why do you cry

Whispering Wind Through The Trees

(T.T.T.O. Kol B’romoh—Pirchei)

Whispering wind through the trees

Waves washing up on the shores

Strange sounds seem to say

Dear children, don’t go away
Alone, on the dark path I tread

Banquet’s shouts of joy I couldn’t bear

On the ground I lay my head

Oh, how did eight weeks disappear

The morning sun broke strong and bright

Buses loading, a painful sight

Gan Yisroel, truly my home

To me, much love you’ve shown

With heavy hearts, to the road we took

Through the window, my last look

Gan Yisroel, my heart you’ve won

For many summers more to come

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