When Tisha B’Av falls during the time when Mosh is in session, the machane (camp) tries to observe the day in a different, but meaningful way. Tisha B’Av is the commemoration of the destruction of the first and second temples in Jerusalem. Although Tisha B’Av is specifically meant to remember the destruction of the temples, many Jews also use it to commemorate other hardships that have befallen the Jewish people.
At Mosh, we try our hardest to make Tisha B’Av interesting, engaging, thought provoking, and educational. One of the major aspects of Tisha B’Av that we try to rework is the notion that it a commemoration of hardships that have struck the Jews specifically. We also remember and learn about other peoples’ struggles, like African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, and those attacked by the Klu Klux Klan. This Tisha B’Av, we also had two different time blocks for special chugim (interest groups), where chanichim (campers) learned about a variety of situations where people are oppressed, but also how people rose above the oppression to help their fellow person. We had chugim about homosexuality and Judaism, how the New York Times reported on the Holocaust, Ethiopian Jews in Israel, the Milgrim Experiment, and many more.
In order to balance the weighty topics we were discussing with more light activities, chanichim participated in an art and storytelling carnival, where they made their own storybooks, had stories read to them, learned Israeli dances, tried interpretative dance, and made abstract art. The chanichim also took part in painting and building a model Western Wall (which you can see some photos of below).
Overall, the day was very meaningful and had a nice balance of serious and difficult topics as well as fun and light activities!