Yesterday marked the first Shabbat of first session, 2018! At Mosh, Shabbat is a massive engagement. It requires a lot of preparation in order for it to be successfully executed. Preparation begins Friday morning, where each anaf completes two blocks of avoda, for example, MLC/Sif will sweep and clean the MLC and sifria and then for their second time slot they will mop it. After all of this work, chanichimot get time to shower and dress up in nice Shabbat clothing. They gather around the toren (flagpole) and have “Huggy Kissy Time,” where they hug each other and welcome the Shabbos. Not only is this is a great photo op for chanichimot with their own cameras as well as for me, but it acts as a time for the community to come together and celebrate.
After this, everyone makes their way to the MLC for Shabbat Shira, which is singing Shabbat songs and Israeli folk songs. One of my favorite songs that we like to sing at this time is called Erev Shel Shoshanim. The lyrics translate to:
An evening fragrant with roses
Pray let us go out to the fruit garden
Spices and frankincense
As a threshold for your feet
Night is slowly falling
The fragrance of the roses descends
Come, I will whisper to you a song, quietly
A song of love.
Morning, the dove is cooing
Your hair is filled with dewdrops
Your mouth turned to the morning, like a lily
I will pluck it for me.
Once we finish singing Shabbat Shira songs, we all link up and hold hands in one giant chain led by the rosh, Ezra. We sing “Lo Yisa Goy,” or “Don’t Walk In Front Of Me,” as we walk in a spiral, coiling around Ezra. Everyone sits as Ezra tells a story. This week, he told a story about a young boy who loved the beach. When he went to the beach this one time, however, he noticed dozens of starfish sitting out in the low tide. The boy then begins to pick each starfish up individually and throw each one back into the ocean. A man walks up to him and says, “There’s too many! You’ll never make any difference,” to which the boy responds by throwing another starfish into the ocean and saying, “it made a difference to that one.” After this story, everyone stands up and faces the setting sun. With their arms around each other, chanichimot and madrichimot sing “Shabbat HaMalka” to welcome the Shabbos Queen.
Once this song is done, chanichimot rush to the chadar ochel in excitement for the delicious Shabbat food. With the prayers said, chanichimot indulge in a beautiful dinner consisting of rosemary chicken (with vegetarian and vegan options, of course), roasted potatoes, spinach, and homemade challah. Once dinner finished, the kids all ran back to their tzrifim and ohelim to put on closed-toed shoes and then went over to the MLC for the chotrimot oneg (celebration of the Sabbath) that included a skit, a small group song, a large group song, and the Israeli dance.
Once the oneg is over, everyone races to the basketball court for the start of rikkud, which is Israeli dancing. This is a highlight for so many chanichimot; even the newer chanichimot who are unfamiliar with the dances are invited to learn the dances from older chanichimot and madrichimot.
At this point in the night, everyone is exhausted, and rightfully so. After a day of cleaning and preparing machaneh for Shabbat, followed by the intense workout that is Israeli dancing, chanichimot have no trouble falling asleep, and in fact, they even get to sleep in on Saturday! Stay tuned for the next post detailing Saturday’s festivities! Don’t forget to check CampMinder for more photos.