Toranut … making kids love washing dishes

Toranut refills food and washes dishes after every meal. Photo by Sarah Joelson.

You know those bumper stickers you all put on the back of your cars when your kids do something good, get straight A’s or make the Honor Roll? Well, now there’s another reason to collect stickers like little kids do and sticker up your car. If your kids go to Mosh they’ve probably been a Toranut All-Star!

Toranut is how we wash the dishes here at Mosh. Everyone does toranut at least once or twice, which plays into equality, socialism and helping to keep camp running. Just how avodah (work groups) is done by everyone in the morning to ensure machaneh gets cleaned and taken care of, toranut must be done during and after each meal to clean the dishes we use.

This year there is a new toranut cheer:

Hey, toranut, you’ve got a nice dishrag.

Clap, clap, clap,

Clap, clap, clap, clap,

Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap,

Soap, soap, soap, soap, soap,

Rinse, sanitizer,

Wipe it down now,

Repeat the claps.

Hey, toranut, smash it then bang it (with a special handshake).

The boombox blasts and dishes clatter in the shtifa (dishwashing area) as about 10 chanichim (and multiple madrichim) collaborate efforts to wash dishes from dinner as they sing along to the music. An assembly line of cups, plates and silverware form by the sinks and racks are filled with clean dishes at a rapid rate.  Toranut not only cleans up for dinner but they arrive at the Chadar Ochel (dining hall) early to eat and set out dishes and bowls of food at each table. During the meal they walk around the Chadar attending to the needs of the rest of machaneh (camp). They retrieve empty bowls and water pitchers from the tables and replace them with new food and water. They also serve the vegetarian/vegan meals. At the end of the meal, once the dishes are clean, the floors are swept and the tables are washed and sanitized.

Although Toranut seems like a lot of work, most chanichim (kids) enjoy it because they all put forth a great effort (even if they don’t always jump up to do the dishes at home). This is another example of how Mosh’s environment and culture can encourage kids to engage in activities they never thought they would enjoy, but end up having fun and loving it.

–Marlena Chertock & Sarah Joelson

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