Tuesday – CHUTZ day 1
This morning we learned about Ramba”n – famous Rabbi of Barcelona in the 13th century. At this point in Spain, the Christians had overthrown the Muslims, and in 1263, King James I of Aragon organized a public debate between Judaism and Christianity. The debate took place in the king’s palace in Barcelona in the presence of the king himself. Representing the church was a Jewish convert to Christianity named Pablo Christiani. The Ramban was asked by the king to represent the Jewish faith. In the 1240 Trial of the Talmud, which we studied last week, the Christians sought to shut down the Talmud and Jewish text, while here they were using those very Jewish texts to prove their point and undermine Jewish beliefs. Although Ramba”n wins the disputation, he loses the war between Christians and Jews in Medieval Christian Spain. The Talmud was censored (although not burned!) and the Ramban was forced to flee to Eretz Yisrael as a result of the fear of retribution.
Well, for all of you who know Camp Stone – this was a slam dunk in terms of “a breakout” for the Chutz. As the chanichim gathered around the Aruchat Eser snack, we all watched the showdown between Ramba”n and Pablo Christiani – right here in Machane! And the unfortunate sad ending was that although Ramba”n won the disputation, Jews were exiled…to the CHUTZ!
Madrichim and Madrichot helped their campers pack for a two day Chutz, and then everyone headed out. The hike to the Chutz takes about 15 minutes, so we were relocated in no time! Everyone began setting up the Gilrs’ campus and the Boys’ Campus, hanging up hammocks and building a tether ball, a mechitza, swings and collecting wood for their fire pits. Eidah Daled is in charge! Each fire pit has a mix of all ages and is basically run by the 4-6 Eidah Daled campers in that group (a plugah). There are a few madrichim in each group too but mainly for “adult supervision” 🙂 This is really Eidah daled’s time to shine!
The afternoon flew by and before we knew it, we were starting fires for dinner and grilling hot dogs and corn… Night tochnit: movie projected onto a screen, with the help of a generator. And the sky was beauitful and full of stars. Special thanks to Rav Benji Shiller who guided campers through some meaningful and awesome star-gazing with a telescope we have in Machane for this occasion! Anyone who looked up, and was guided to understand, was able to see Jupiter and Saturn!
In other very special news: Camp Stone is hosting Rav Moshe Licntenstein and his wife, Dr. Michal Lichtenstein. Rav Moshe is Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Gush Etzion (otherwise lovingly referred to as “the Gush”) Our chanichim were taught to stand for a Talmid Chacham and, this morning, when HaRav Lichtenstein and his wife were introduced in the Chadar Ochel, everyone stood and started singing a song many sing in the presence of a talmid chacham – ימים על ימי מלך תוסיף… This was an unforgettable experience. Rav Moshe taught some tzevet this morning during their shiur time, and he gave another shiur at the Chutz this afternoon, which 90 members of hadracha and tzevet attended. This is a very special opportunity for us and we are grateful for their visit.
Machal is in DC area for the next few days. They began with visiting a few monuments/memorials and then had a fun dodgeball game, followed by an ice cream party!