Sunday – Tisha B’av
We are on the other side of this national mourning day and we can look back and share how we spent the day in such a meaningful way.
When Shabbat was over, we all said ברוך מבדיל בין קודש לחול and went to our cabins to change into non-leather shoes. We all walked back to the outdoor Beit Knesset and davened maariv. We made the ברכה on the candle, saving the rest of havdalah for after the fast. Staff members held torches along the road from the outdoor to the Indoor Beit Knesset, and each eidah was dismissed one at a time to walk slowly towards the IBK where Eicha would be read. Everyone was saying על אלה אני בוכיה in a haunting tune, over and over and over again… With the whole camp gathered in circles around small laneterns for light to ready by, each chapter of Eicha was introduced by our tzevet Beit Midrash. After Eicha, we read some kinot with introductions as well. (Kaytana and Eidah aleph were dismissed after 2 chapters, since it was getting very late.) Before going to sleep, we had a round robin, where each eidah watched a short skit put on by Machal about the specific horrors of the Crusades in Speyer, Worms and Magenza. Some of the kinnot we were planning on reading during the day were about this time period, so it was helpful to have the history in mind.
The day began with a late wake up, tefillah with kriat haTorah and then again kinnot with introductions – this time, going around to skits before each kinah was said. Five skits/stations in total. The Tzevet Beit Midrash put on these skits, and at each station we recited the relevant kinnah afterwards with the right mindset and directed kavanah. After the kinnot, it was already chatzot, mid-day, and sitting on chairs became permitted. We had a short break, mincha and then free time to rest and watch some films that fit with the mood of the day.
We ended the day, as is camp custom, with singing (seudah-shlishit style) in the Indoor Beit Knesset and a story told by Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, Rabbi of the UAE, about some Yeminite Jews who escaped their awful life, after one of the children had been imprisoned. His mother fought hard to get him released and they all ultimately made it out alive to Abu Dabi, where he met them. After maariv and havdalah, each bunk had their own pan of brownies on which they broke their fast” and then we all headed down to the Chadar Ochel for a lasagna meal.
The chanichim were full of energy and each eidah was offered a night activity – climbing wall, basketball, night swim etc.
We are looking forward to this second full week of camp…Chutz should be happening any day now!!
Machal spent the morning with the rest of machane, but after camp headed out to the Corry, PA cemetery to clean a little and learn about the Jewish community that used to live around here. In addition to paying tribute to this “once upon a time” Jewish community, they discussed elements of a Jewish community and how to prioritize values – and the complexity of doing so! They concluded their fast with a film, slow singing and maariv and havdalah, all on their own.