Tonight will be the first Shabbat of second session. There are many special ways we celebrate Shabbat together at machaneh. Our festivities begin with “Huggy Kissy Time,” where everyone gathers around the toren to welcome the Shabbos. After this, everyone makes their way to the MLC for Shabbat Shira, which is singing Shabbat songs and Israeli folk songs. Once we finish singing Shabbat Shira songs, we all link up and hold hands in one giant chain led by the rosh, Leah. We sing “Lo Yisa Goy,” or “Don’t Walk In Front Of Me,” as we walk in a spiral, coiling around Leah. Everyone sits as Leah tells a story. 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 chicken (with vegetarian and vegan options, of course), roasted potatoes, salad, and homemade challah. After dinner, the chanichimot gather in the MLC for the oneg, which includes a skit, a small group song, a large group song, a modern dance, and an Israeli dance. Once the oneg is over, everyone races to the basketball court for the start of rikkud, which is Israeli dancing.
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!
We begin Saturday mornings at 11 o’clock with Rejuvination, which is a time to reflect on the week and relax. The chanichimot then attended special Shabbat chugim, including discussing the news, writing poetry, and more. In the afternoon, there is time for more restful and fun activities, such as cloud-watching, swimming, gaga, and art.
The next part of the day is called zman tzrif/ohel, which means time with your cabin/tent. This is time where chanichimot split up into their tzrifim and ohelim to spend time with this small group of campers, do check-ins, eat food, play games, and chill out. After this, the chanichimot head to the basketball court for Asepha Klalit, which is a time when the chanichimot can suggest improvements or compliment things that machaneh is doing well. Some classic suggestions are “we should move the lower shetach closer to the pool!” or “we should have golf carts,” but a lot of chanichimot also use this time to say more useful things, like “the door handle to the sherutim is broken,” or “let’s be quiet during shira!” The chanichimot love voicing their opinions and bettering the Mosh community.
Mishpachot (families) is the next activity in the day, and it is where chanichimot split up by the places they are from so that they can talk about things relevant to their own communities at home.
After mishpachot, we all head to dinner where we eat pizza and cantaloupe! Next comes musicale where chanichimot showcase their musical talents, and after that comes Havdallah.
Once the first three stars in the sky are out, we do Havdallah. This is a peaceful time where we lie down to take in the night sky and reflect on the week. Then, we circle up and sing Havdallah prayers while swaying with our arms around each other. Once Havdallah is finished, we head to Medurah, where chanichimot perform acts in front of our bonfire. This is followed by kumzitz (Yiddish for “come sit”) where we sing songs such as Angel From Montgomery, Country Roads, Redemption Song, Sweet Baby James, Dark as a Dungeon, and so many more!
Shabbat is a special and amazing time at Mosh, unlike any other. It is a time of rest, community, rejuvenation, and fun!