Monday, August 9
Something is definitely up around here… There were strange happenings last night in Sugar Grove. At Shekem time a police car pulled into camp, and after a short discussion, pulled away — with Rosh Moshava Shalhevet inside the police cruiser! A few hours later, after the entire Machane engaged in a protest in Indoor World against the injustice of the police ticketing Shalhevet (they were told she was ticketed for driving a Kubota vehicle on the road!), complete with chants and signs (“We need Shalhevet! She’s a nice person!” read one sign), a vehicle carrying Shalhevet appeared in Indoor World, and as she emerged from the vehicle, she was wearing many, many colors — including yellow, black, purple, and green! All of this could only mean one thing… it’s Color War breakout!
The teams for this year’s Color War are Bavli (purple and green) and Yerushalmi (yellow and black) — for the next two days the entire camp is engaged in a wide variety of Color War competitions. Today Yerushalmi and Bavli faced off in volleyball, soccer, swimming, a competitive dance party (I kid you not), and a classic game of “Machanayim” — a dodgeball variant, where you don’t “get out.” Different eidot and genders were assigned different games and challenges, and points were recorded — both for their performance and for their spirit!
We had team marches and cheers before lunch and dinner. Each meal of Color War is set up and served (see yesterday’s post about “toranut“) by one of the Color War teams. The breakfasts are traditionally done by Tzevet (specialty staff) — who have their own team, team “Shabbat.” Pancake breakfast today came complete with a Shabbat zemirot soundtrack, and Shabbat-o-grams! Each of the teams sets up one meal a day in a thematic way, that matches an aspect of their team name and theme (dinner tables, for example, were set up and decorated as a pastoral scene of the Shemittah year in Israel, related to the Eretz Yisrael-based Talmud Yerushalmi). Tonight was the annual “Olympiada” competitions, which are “minute-to-win-it” style competitions.
It was a full day, and everyone is having fun! Chanichim have been working on all of the projects and presentations that go along with their theme, and we can’t wait to see those tomorrow.
Meanwhile, this morning in shiur, the chanichim explored the differences between the Babylonian Talmud (“Bavli”) and the Jerusalem Talmud (“Yerushalmi”) — not coincidentally, directly tied to their Color War teams! They learned several Talmudic texts which highlighted the reputation of the Bavli as argumentative in style, with lengthy analysis, versus the Yerushalmi with its tendency toward brief discussions in gentler tones.
Machal is currently traveling on their week-long trip across Pennsylvania. Their first stop was in Corry, PA, a small town not too far from Camp Stone, where they visited the cemetery (of a Jewish community that no longer exists there), cleaned up the cemetery, and learned about the community that used to be in Corry, and they thought about their own role, and the meaning of being part of a Jewish community. After a stop in Pittsburgh, Machal went whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny River in Southwest Pennsylvania — an adventure normally reserved for Edah Daled chanichim, a trip this age group was unable to take last summer, because of COVID. Whitewater rafting was a thrill!