Tuesday Aug 3
In shiur today, the chanichim learned about the Cairo Genizah -a cache of roughly 400,000 pages of manuscript (and some printed) material that accumulated in the worn text repository (Hebrew: geniza) of the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Cairo between the eleventh century and the late nineteenth. In 1896, Solomon Shechter, a professor in Cambridge University, discovered the Genizah. In discovering the Genizah, Shechter realized, right away, the critical role that it would play in our understanding of Jewish history during the Middle Ages. Before the discovery of the genizah, we did not have so many sources telling us what life was like. These pages are now dispersed across more than sixty libraries and private collections. One example of something that was found was a letter that Ramba”m wrote to his friend Samuel Ibn Tibon (who translated Rambam’s works written in Arabic) about his daily schedule being both doctor and Rabbinic figure in Fustat and doctor to the sultan and his family in Cairo (1.5 miles away). Fascinating stuff!!
When each bunk checked the schedule today, they saw that in addition to the regular camp activities today, they had a “double-peulah” called Bunk Night! They spent that time designing a wooden shelet sign with their bunk name on it as well as a creative way to present it and explain their bunk name – a song, a dance, a skit etc. The night activity tonight is for each bunk to give their presentation and show their shelet to their eidah. These signs are hung in the Chadar Ochel for generations to come (who will stare at it during the singing we do during Seudah Shlshit)
Each day, a different bunk has TORANUT in the Chadar Ochel. That means it is there turn to set the tables and serve the food and clean up after the meal. Today was Bunk Abarbanel, an Eidah Gimmel boys bunk. They did a great job, and it is important that all parents know their sons and daughters are setting tables, serving, sweeping and taking out garbage bags. I will deny I told you 😉 This is all part of the kibbutz-like life we have set up for oursleves here, where we do all the work…and then all the play!!
Thank you to Ariel Braun and Rayna Kent who make the schedule for each day. It is really complicated to work it all out and somehow they always do it! When we have rain the forecast, the schedule will have the rainy day schedule on the back, and with one quick announcement over the ram-kol (loudspeaker), we all flip to “the other side” and switch all outdoor activities for indoor ones. It is a very quick, smooth and calm transition. And then we just “flip back” when the storm passes (which they often do) and the sun returns.
Kaytana learned about – and then experienced first-hand – the(ir) Exodus from Egypt today! “Avadim hayeenu” this morning… They made soft matza (laffa bread) in the brick oven in the Village, had a mock- seder in the afternoon and watched Prince of Egypt tonight for a special treat 🙂 In addition, the girls had a slip n’ slide activity and soccer and the boys had volleyball and kickball. They also enjoyed a special art peulah, but the details are a secret, since they will be bringing that project home as a surprise.
Machal hiked an eight-mile trail today called Tracey’s Ridge in the Allegheny National Forest and then “set up camp” and barbequed (can’t get enough of those Impossible Burgers!!) at a campsite.