We pick up where we left off–Erev Tisha B’Av (the eve of Tisha B’Av, the traditional date of the destruction of the Jewish temple and beginning of the Exile 2,000 years ago). The chanichim (campers) grabbed tiki torches and went to the tzrifim (bunks) they are matched with to guide them to our camp-wide reading of Eicha (the Book of Lamentations, written by Jeremiah the prophet on the destruction). Reflective, some of the Kerem stuck around to recite traditional kinnot (dirges) before heading to sleep. The following day was spent in contemplative tefillah (prayer), sichot (discussions), and watching Defiance. Kerem cleaned Yavneh’s ginat zichronot (memorial garden) and spent time hearing about some of the amazing chanichim and tzevet (staff) from Yavneh who have passed on. As the day came to a close, we watched a tekes (ceremony) with hope for the rebuilding of our Temple and home, followed by a SWEET break fast of salmon and cheesecake!
On Wednesday we woke excited to board the bus to our most exciting Achla Yom (literally awesome day, our alternative schedule/trip day) yet–to Boston (the capital of Massachusetts) (this might not have needs an addendum). In the morning we went to perform some of our past Zimriyah songs at an assisted living home and make new friends. After singing Yiddish songs, shmoozing and dancing with said new friends, we packed up and went to Fenway park for a tour (shout out to TJ the tour guide!). Excited by the cool feeling of Boston masoret (tradition) on a warm day, we again packed up and went to Boston’s Holocaust memorial. Rain cut our visit a bit short before visiting Amalya Charytan’s house for dinner. The evening of incredible hospitality and ta’am china cemented it as perhaps the most “dope” Achla Yom period
Wednesday the rest of the camp had Achla Yom and we stayed in camps. Anyone notice yet that that last sentence ended with period instead of an actual period? Stay on your toes parents. This one’s unpredictable. We spent the day preparing for a few impending events–KTV (the camp-wide lip sync Kerem runs), Rekudia (this author’s favorite night of camp, where every tzrif/aydah (unit) prepares a dance and performs it for the camp), and, of course, in case you forgot, which you didn’t, cuz how could you, but just in case you did, which you didn’t, cuz how could you, Maccabiah (camp’s multi-day color war run by Kerem at the end of the summer). We also swam on the agam (lake) and chilled out. For peulat erev (evening activity), we had a bar mitzvah celebration for Mifkad, our Kerem mascot. We played all the old school Bar Mitzvah games–you know them parents. Coke & Pepsi, Snowball… those are actually the only games we could think of. We used to play Huggy Bear when I was a lad but no longer. We also ate guac. Solid night overall.
Friday we had our normal morning for the first time in like forever: mifkad (raise that flag! Sing that star spangled banner! Learn that Hebrew word!), Iyun tefillah (discussion on topics in prayer), aruchat boker (breakfast), and nikayon (cleaning). In the morning Kerem has been learning from and discussing with Justin Cammy about Israel, and it has been Camtabulous! If you’re reading this Justin, sorry about the portmanteau of your last name and fantabulous, a fake word. Besides for kitah (the aforementioned class), Kerem had a morning chofesh (free) and helped staff chuggim (electives). The afternoon had us covering tzrifim while the tzevet had a staff meeting and playing frisbee (alternatively, discus) before going to get ready for Shabbat. You know how Shabbat goes at Yavneh: Kerem leads zemirot (fast paced singing and dancing), has their own tisch (slow paced singing and story telling), and just grows closer naturally. This Shabbat brought some tears as the chanichim noted it marked there being 13 days of camp left, but also some smiles at the amazing memories that had already been built. Motzei Shabbat (after Shabbat’s exit), Kerem went to cover other tzrifim for the night. They really like us. Like a lot. It’s pretty adorable tbh (to be honest).
Sunday we had a day of more KTV planning and such, and also covered tzrifim again for another pegishat Tzevet (staff meeting). At around 430, we packed up Yavneh’s Aruchat erev (dinner) (Sloppy Joe’s!) and headed to Portsmouth for an exciting new adventure–heading to Prospect Park’s outdoor theater to watch Mary Poppins! The acting was superb and we threw flowers on the stage at the end and screamed for an encore till our voices were nearly gone. Luckily we had ice cream already ordered to soothe our tender palates. This writer had Black Raspberry-YUM! We came back exhausted.
Yesterday was the big day–Rekudia was that night!!! After a normal morning and meltzing (acting as waiters and cleaners for a meal) lunch (Kerem meltzed most lunches at camp) for the first time in a week, we had a fun afternoon–the banot (girls) watched Yavneh’s powderpuff (girl vs girl football game) of Maalot against Leviim (the aydot one year and two years younger than us, respectively), while the banim (boys) had a game of Battleships/Assassins and played kadur sal (basketball). We performed at Rekudia like our very lives, nay, our very souls, depended on it. It was according to some of the chanichim, and I quote, “one of the best days of our summer.” Funny how I get to hear that most days of camp. As the sun set outside, Kerem assembled on the migrashei tennis (tennis courts) for a BBQ, setting the sun on one of our final days and a summer like no other.