Tuesday July 23 – Opening Tochnit!!

DATE: July 24, 2019

Welcome to Moshevet Mamlechet Kohanim, session 2 for Camp Stone Summer 2019/5779! You will find a daily report here (usually posted late at night) for Kaytana, Alef – Daled and Machal.

Our 465 chanichim and chanichot arrived on 9 buses today – from 35 cities (and a few in some cars)!! They were greeted by many excited madrichim and madrichot, holding bunk signs with your children’s names on them. Once everyone found their group, each bunk had a few minutes, in a circle on the grass, to go around, say names and play a quick game to relax everyone 😉

And then the fun started!! First let’s discuss Alef-Daled:

Shlomo haMelech and Tzadok, the Kohain Gadol (some chanichim/ot recognized them as Elisha Kelman and Yael Engelhart) gave everyone the amazing news that we were all going to be going to Yerushalyim for the dedication of our first Bet haMikdash – finally!! After 480 years since we left Egypt! Each bunk went to 4 stations to help prepare

  1. Make a brick by sanding a wooden block and decorating it with your name
  2. Take your entry ticket (and mule-parking pass) and your bikkurim that you will need for your trip (i.e. take some snacks and a juice box) and make a name tag for your journey
  3. Gather the gold that we will need for the vessels (that was a fun game of finding gold things in bales of hay)
  4. Meet some Leviiim, hear some songs from them and then create an instrument to bring along for the parade and big day – a harmonica or a small hand drum (great quick crafts…ask your children)

We gathered and marched, in song and dance, down to the outdoor Beit Knesset, which was now looking quite temple-like from the outside. Eidah Daled helped by schlepping the two tall bronze pillars, known as Yachin and Boaz, that were set up at the entrance.

It was an extraordinary day and and unbelievable opening to camp – the experiential learning will keep this memory alive for many years to come! Enjoy the pictures to get a taste of the excitement.

We davened Tefillat Mincha in our new “Beit haMikdash” right as the sun was setting, and then everyone went to the bunk to begin unpacking before dinner. We had a delicious first dinner – 700 lbs of BBQ chicken to be exact – followed by Maariv and more unpacking.

Today was a great example of / introduction to the kind of learning and living of Torah and Jewish history that we do. This month we will study (and reenact) the years between the two temples and your children will feel like they were there!! Stay tuned…

Kaytana has their own journey, in their separate two week camp experience. They were taken by “camel” ride (technically it was a wagon ride, but they knew the truth!) to Avraham’s tent and saw his father’s idols. They helped smash an idol (which actually turned out to be a pinata) and felt pretty good about that 🙂 They helped Avraham buy some food and special things for the trip (and each of them got a bag too…with snacks and sunglasses), since Avraham (with Kaytana) is about to set out for Eretz Canaan. Again, stay tuned for their journey through the lives of the Avot and Imahot, our descent down to Egypt, the exciting Exodus and our first leader, Moshe Rabbeinu.

Machal headed over to their Machal bunks and burned their “shelet-aish” with their shevet name – Dorot. They each received their own Tanach during this opening ceremony, and then they began to unpack. Tonight will be about getting to know each other and starting to build community. They will be up and out early for their first hike, followed by their first campout 🙂 These chanichim/ot are so excited to be on this unique, challenging, thought-provoking four week program – for which some have been waiting 7 years!!