Thursday, August 5
Shalom from beautiful Sugar Grove, PA! The last few days have been absolutely stunning here. Yesterday, the entire Machane returned from the Chutz, and after hiking back into camp, showering, and cleaning themselves up after two nights of sleeping out under the stars, the chanichim went right back to an afternoon full of peulot in camp (including glass blowing in the village, climbing on the climbing wall, ultimate frisbee, and archery).
This morning in shiur, chanichim studied the different ways that the Amoraim of Bavel saw their relationship with the local, non-Jewish authorities. Chanichim saw that while the great sage Rav was troubled by the lack of autonomy of the Babylonian Jews in the Sassanian Empire, Shmuel took an approach that was more accepting of the role of the non-Jewish government stating “dina de-malchuta dina” (“the law of the kingdom is the law”). They also saw that the sage Shmuel even had a positive relationship with Shapur, the ruler of the Sassanian Empire.
In the past few days, many bunks have visited the Ceramics studio — for the second time — to apply colored glaze to their very own clay creation — small bowls and dishes — which had previously been fired in the kiln to make them bisque (hardened pottery). One particularly unique technique that many chanichim elected to use was to put several glass marbles at the bottom of their dish — which creates a marbleized glass bottom to the dish once it emerges from the kiln for the second time.
The great Amora Shmuel (Rosh Moshava Shalhevet) welcomed the chanichim to the Shekem shack today, and introduced his friend, the Emperor Shapur (Rosh Eidah Noa). After explaining how Shmuel had previously interpreted and predicted the emperor’s dreams, Shapur told the whole camp that he had had a dream. In this instance, however, Shapur shared a very strange dream in which people were flying around and around in circles with wheels on their feet — this dream could only mean one thing: the entire Machane was going rollerskating! After grabbing their socks, and eating dinner, the chanichim were off for a fun evening of skating!