Wednesday July 31
Today we learned about the rebuilding of the second Beit haMikdash (we bounce back fast here!) and that it was the Persian king Cyrus who made the declaration for the Jews to “go home” and build their temple. It is so interesting that the pasuk in Sefer Ezra (that the chanichim/ot learned) says that Hashem aroused the spirit of Cyrus and caused him to make that announcement. We talked about what it means that history happens with G-d’s influence, and He might be behind some political moves we see today. How do we know without a navi to tell us? The chanichim/ot also saw that only 42,360 people returned! Why didn’t everyone go back after the galut was over? Why wouldn’t people rush home to Eretz Yisrael when they were allowed to go? Obviously that is a question relevant to our generation, so everyone in shiur had something to say about that 🙂
Yes, of course we met Cyrus here during the post-lunch skit today and heard his declaration with our own ears! (You might start noticing that costumes are reused here!)
Other than Shivat Tzion, it was a pretty normal day here 😉 Bunks are having a chance at all of their favorite peulot – susim (horseback riding), the agam, ropes courses, Village and a beautiful paint project we call “pour paint” on the schedule. You’ll see your kids canvases and they will explain.
We have a special group of Yachad tzevet members – a staff vocational program right here at Machane. Four young men and four young women play a role in our various activities here – from sports to Beit Midrash to helping with mail in the misrad and with the babies in the staff day camp. Their job coaches are here to help with this vocational training, some of them Yachad fellows and others here as camp tzevet in the Yachad program. We are so enjoying this opportunity to experience more of the Yachad values up close – inclusion, love, respect, celebration of our strengths and community.
Kaytana experienced slavery today…in the form of working on plugah, our tzevet that fixes things around camp, does the garbage runs and all maintenace needs. The kaytana chanichim/ot went around camp helping with various jobs and felt the tired feeling that comes from good ol’ working with your hands. They liked it more than their ancestors did, that’s for sure, but they were happy when they were freed!! They decorated pillowcases during a peulah in preparation for their seder tonight. They painted the doorposts red, poured their grape juice into goblets and read from special hagadot (that had only the highlights they were going to read) and enjoyed a Pesach seder right here in Sugar Grove, PA on the last day of July 🙂
Machal did a 6 mile hike on the Morrison trail and were picked up with pontoon boats at the end. They were transported across the Allegheny River in the boats and are sleeping at Dew Drop camp site tonight. The boat ride was gorgeous and so fun!! Each morning the chanichim/ot start their day with breakfast over shiur in small groups, each assigned a madrich/a as their shiur teacher for the month. They are learning about leadership through stories in Sefer Yehoshua an Shoftim.