Monday June 26
We were all given an extra bit of sleep today…standard practice for a rainy day! After tefilah, we had breakfast and then spent shiur time learning about the very important pasuk לא בשמים היא – this pasuk, in its context in Sefer Dvarim, means the Torah is something we can all practice and relate to. The mitzvot are not too hard or too far of a reach for us. Our Sages added a meaning to it – that the Torah is not in Heaven, i.e. it is for humans and needs to be developed and applied by humans for humans. We discussed the famous story where some Rabbis are learning and arguing and trying to get Hashem to tell them who is right – ultimately a Heavenly voice is heard that says “It is not in the Heavens” – i.e. YOU decide. This is the basis for so much of our Oral Law that was developed by our Rabbis during this time period. We talked about HOW we decide rulings- basically, according to the priciple of “majority rules”. That led to some fun examples and discussions about voting and how much everyone’s vote should matter etc etc Really interesting stuff for a rainy day!
Throughout camp we have been hearing a “bat kol” – a heavenly voice…oh wait! That is just the ram-kol, our intercom system aking announcements that can be heard all over camp : )
On days where there is rain in the Sugar Grove, PA forecast, our daily schedule has two sides. One has the schedule for if it DOESN’T rain and one side has the rainy day schedule, with more of the indoor activities for if it DOES rain. (Shout-out here to our Roshei Sport, Micah Feit-Mann and Rayna Kent, who create the schedule each day so that 22 bunks each have 6 activities!!) If it begins to pour (or even just thunder…) we hear “switch to the rainy day schedule” over the ram-kol, and everyone just switches over. Pretty smooth and practical! Today we had to switch over at one point, and it worked like a charm!
This evening was the first day where chugim (the electives) took place, and that was so much fun and a great way to end the day before shower-time and dinner. Each morning the eidot meet up in various places around camp to have mifkad (literally, census) before tefillah, with a few morning exercises to wake everyone up. And then again, before dinner, we have mifkad – but this time EVERYONE together: a camp-wide mifkad, just like we do on Fridays before Kabbalat Shabbat. During the evening mifkad, we review the day a little, including what we learned in shiur that day, and then sing the shir haMachane, the session’s song about the period of Jewish History we are studying. It is such a beautiful way to end the day with a family-feel!
Kaytana learned about Yosef andf his dreams today. They went to the planetarium we have here at our machane (yes, you read that right!! More about that in tomorrow’s blog) and saw the stars and learned about some constellations, since one of Yosef’s dream was about stars. The boys and girls all had a turn on the climbing wall today and played some sports. The boys also had music, and the girls had bracelet making. One activty they had today will need to remain a secret, since it invloved making a present for you, their parents, and the campers will be bringing it home in a week…
Machal returned to our machane this morning, from the camp ground where they slept last night, for a sicha (discussion) about leadership, followed by lunch here. Their afternoon included a hike on a three-mile trail called “Heart’s Content,” a trip to Walmart to buy some snacks and fun shtick for camp, and then some rainy-day bowling!