Thursday August 1
Today’s shiur asked the question: how do we connect with Hashem when His presence is no longer as…well, present! The second Beit haMikdash was missing the aron kodesh and the kruvim and the constant fire, and it just felt lacking. Ezra created the idea of reading Torah on Mondays and Thursdays and Shabbat at Mincha in order to give the Jewish people a way to connect to Hashem without all the miracles and drama of the Beit haMikdash. We spoke about tefillah also and how that is something we use to “connect and reach out” to G-d.
By Mincha we were putting the walls back up around our outdoor Beit Knesset to symbolize the reconstruction of the Beit haMikdash that we learned about. Next thing we know, King Achashvrosh was inviting us all to his party. He threw invitations into the crowd at shekem, and he gave out candy which always makes people happy to do what someone is asking! After dinner a horse came with Haman- you could recognize him from his 3-cornered hat of course 😉 and everyone was asked to bow (yes, a real horse from our susim, all decorated!!) We felt like we were on the streets of Shushan!
The tefillah at Maariv had some extra kavanah because we were davening for the Jewish people to survive!! And that brought us to some “problem-solving” at the night tochnit which involved:
BINGO (basically, a “lottery” so that could not have been more perfect) for the youngest two eidot aleph and vav
Panolply for bet, gimmel and daled (an envelope of MANY word games, puzzles, challenges and questions that the whole bunk has to work on in a limited amount of time)
Finally salvation was announced!! And we thanked Hashem with a party that included food of course and thanksgiving!! And yes, we ate hamentaschen here in August 🙂
What a day!! I don’t think Purim in August is something these chanichim/ot will forget anytime soon.
Kaytana had their very own color war today! Team Moshe vs. Team Aharon. The blue team focused on the water that Moshe was placed in and the sea that split, while the red team focused on the water that Aharon struck and turned into blood and the royal red that was in the clothing of the kehuna. These two teams – water and fire – battled it out all day with sports, an apache race, a penny-find in the sand of the beach volleyball court (they found 300!!) and the presentations which included a girls’ daglanut (dnce with Israeli flags) and a boys’ rikkud (dance). They begged and cheered that there not be a tie, so the points were tallied and the score was announced: Team Aharon for the win! The chanichim/ot were so happy after, whether they won or lost. They had a fun day and appreciated the excitement of the competition. Kol HaKavod to Yonina and Simon and all of the Kaytana Tzevet for such a special, memorable and fun day.
Machal has been chillin’ at their Chutz site, cooking over the open fire, having a sicha about leadership and community-building, and learning in a Chavruta-fest this afternoon. The topic, playing off their shevet (intl Bnei Akiva age group) name DOROT (=generations), dealt with the question: How can I be bound and obligated by a commitment my ancestors made?
Our first full week here was non-stop, and we are excited for a Friday of hiking by eidah and a picnic lunch. Have we been here for only 10 days??