Wednesday, August 11
Wow — that was an intense two days of Color War we just finished!
And the winner is… Team Yerushalmi! Both teams gave it their all, and both teams’ projects, performances, and ruach were amazing. Team Yerushalmi won by a very slim margin. And last night’s final performances and revealing of the final results not only meant an end to Color War, but it also meant a very special post-Color War tradition here in Camp Stone this morning: late kimah (wakeup)! The chanichim deserved an extra hour of sleep after a very intense two days of competitions.
Today was back to a full schedule of regular activities. In shiur today we explored the way in which after the Second Beit HaMikdash was destroyed, with the loss of a central holy space, there was a shift in emphasis toward holiness of time. We learned about how the Jewish calendar was originally dependent on witnesses and testimony in the Sanhedrin (Jewish High Court) regarding the sighting of the new moon. Once the Sanhedrin‘s power was usurped by the Romans, the Jewish calendar was no longer a fluid calendar reset each month based on witnesses’ testimony, but rather a fixed calendar that Hillel set up for all future generations.
A new activity in camp this session is the activity called “AndIdrew,” an activity in the Melechet Yad (Arts and Crafts center) with our very own comic illustrator and creater, Andrew. Andrew teaches and models for the chanichim how to create their very own comic book narratives, sketches, dialogue, and create a story in comic book form. (Check the camp photos for some great shots of chanichim engaged and enjoying this activity).
On a hot day like today, the slip-and-slide peulah (activity) is very popular! The chanichim each take turns sliding down a wet slide on a slope, and seeing who can slide the furthest! Fun, cool, and just a bit muddy!
At lunch today, the Roman Emperor Julian declared to the Jews (of 361 C.E.) his intention to rebuild the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) in Jerusalem — a declaration that caused quite a ruckus among the Jews. Was this really to be? Was it the right thing for Judaism in the fourth century to have a new Temple? After some controversy among the Jewish leaders (they expressed themselves publicly at the entrance to the chadar ochel), singing of “Yibaneh haMikdash” broke out in the crowd, and the Jewish people’s optimism in Machane soared.
At Shekem, however, the entire Machane witnessed that just when Julian’s workers had begun to work on the building of a third Temple, a fire broke out in Jerusalem, dashing their hopes that a third Beit HaMikdash would be built in their lifetimes. Luckily, there were ice cream sandwiches and the other usual delightful Shekem treats to console them as they went off to continue their lives with Peulah Vav (Activity #6). Although there would be no Third Temple in the fourth century, there were vibrant Jewish communities in both Bavel and Eretz Yisrael.