Sunday July 30
Today in shiur our chanichim, in Eidot Alef-Daled, learned about a man named Baruch Spinoza, who lived in the mid-1600’s, and the cherem that the Jewish community declared on him, i.e. they ex-communicated him due to his radical heretical writings. We discussed the questions that come up with this form of a reaction. Is it fair? What about the individual? Is it effective? The chanichim could relate to this issue when their morim brought up the thoughts they have about the cherem-like realities/punishments they know: time-outs at home, teachers asking kids to leave class and students being expelled from schools and camps. Each bunk has already sat and created a poster about their bunk expectations, and in this mini-community, what happens when someone is not acting responsibly and respectfully? Fascinating for kids to think about! They watched a reenactment of the cherem during shekem – when a Rosh Eidah acted like Spinoza and started spouting hateful and disrespectful things about camp and our directors and ultimately about G-d. Some other Roshei Eidah cheered for him, but others demanded he be put in cherem.
Our special activity today for every bunk was time to prpare for Bunk Night!!! That meant the bunk needed to create a presentation about their bunk name – a song or skit – along with a shelet, a sign made out of wood and paint. Each chanich/chanicha put their talents and creativity towards the end goal. Each eidah met tonight and had the four bunks in the eidah present their bunk name and masterpieces. Yasher Koach everyone!! We look forward to seeing the signs on display in the chadar ochel.
After shekem, we all had fun walking around the Chugim Fair. Chugim are like electives that the chanichim have in their schedule, approx 4 times during the session. All ages can join a chug, and they are run by our tzevet. There will be basketball, swim, glass blowing and high ropes, of course…and also… Kumzits & Cookies and Moshpit Slurpies and BBQ & Spike Ball. You will definitely want to check out photos of those! Each chanich was able to sign up for a chug right then and there, after reading the signs and meeting the tzevet members who will be running them.
The weather was beautiful and we had a packed day – our first really regular, normal, good ol’ day of peulot and fun!!
Kaytana learned about our four foremothers today and their special relationship (at least according to midrashim) with Shabbat. In their memory, and as a fun hands-on activity, each camper made two things for your Shabbat table at home. No spoilers in this blog. You will haveto wait and see for yourself 🙂 Some other activities today included swim (yay!!) for the banim (before lunch) and for the banot (after lunch), making homemade “lemonana”(mint lemonade), basketball, and rollerskating. Before dinner, the Kaytana chanichim were invited to a wedding, to share in the simcha of Yaakov and Rachel getting married!! Our very own Rav HaMachane, Adi Krohn, officiated and everyone toasted their bubbly grape juice and signed the guest book. Mazal Tov!!
Machal left machane early this morning for an 8-mile hike near the buckaloons campsite. After the long hike, they went on a 4 mile tubing trip down the Allegheny River and were rewarded with hot chocolate and soup 🙂 That gave them enough energy to learn how to build their tents and “set up camp”! Dinner was hot dogs over the open fire. They had a clear night for some star gazing too! Each morning, Machal has some time to learn torah in small groups. They spend the month studying stories and sections from Sefer Yehoshua where conversations about building community, communal responsibility and effective leadership all jump right out of the text!