Yesterday we observed Tisha B’Av. It is the day set aside on the Jewish calendar to commemorate and remember the destruction of the Temples that stood in Jerusalem. We observed the day beginning the night before by reading Megillat Eicha, the Book of Eicha. It was an amazing experience that we do every year. We have campers and staff members alike, younger and older, read the entire scroll. There were 40 people who participated many reading for the first time and some for the 8th! Afterwards, A-side campers went to sleep and B-side campers had age appropriate discussions on destruction and what it means to feel the sense of loss.
Tisha B’Av is typically calmer than any other day in camp. Campers sleep a bit later and the usual sense of intensity is different. It was 90° in camp and we strongly encouraged everyone to drink water and A-side campers were not allowed to fast. Programming is at its best on this day. From movies with themes – like the environment and Wall-E, to incredible discussions about whether one should even commemorate the day at all because the State of Israel exits, campers remember this day for many years to come.
Often it has been said that if it weren’t for the Ramah camps few folks would observe the day at all. I hope that you had a meaningful day. We certainly did.