Gali the sheep here– in disbelief that we are about to spend our final Shabbat of the summer together here at Camp Galil. What they’ve always said about this place is that days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. They’re right. As every week at machaneh (camp) feels like it’s own uniquely adventurous ride, shabbat provides a necessary marker for the passage of our time together… like the chapter of a book. And my dear chaverimot (friends), this is the final chapter of our summer.
As I mentioned yesterday, we have some very special visitors joining us for this Shabbat! Our dear friends from Kvutzah 71 (Pre-11th grade) have just returned from Israel with Habonim Dror North America. They took part in the summer tour program, Machaneh Bonim Israel (Camp Habonim in Israel) or as we call it, MBI!
MBI is not just run for those who grew up attending Galil… we actually have six sister machanot throughout North America! Since beginning their time at machaneh, our kvutzot (age groups) learn that there are chanichimot (campers) just like them in places like California, British Columbia, Ontario, the Midwest, and even neighboring Maryland/DC! MBI is the summer where they all join together for the first time and make friends that will last for a lifetime! We are extra lucky this shabbat as we get to host MBIers from both Galil as well as Moshava (aka Mosh) in Maryland!
As our MBIers appeared at machaneh, each one wore their blue chultzah t’nua (movement shirt) symbolizing their new status of community leadership. For any of you out there who have seen one of your chanichimot wear this shirt for the first time, you can appreciate the feeling of extreme nachas (pride) that we felt seeing them tonight. Two of our MBIers, Andre and Trent, wrote a beautiful piece at the close of MBI about taking on this new chapter of leadership, or as its referred to here as Hadracha.
Hadracha has no direct translation. It is most commonly described as leadership, but becoming hadracha creates an entirely different experience.
The Hadracha seminar taught us how to be madrichim within the movement, but we have been learning this since we first went to camp. Every experience we’ve had, good or bad, has prepared us for what we are about to go through together, a journey to influence and improve the lives of so many chanichim. On MBI alone, we have learned so many things together for ourselves that we can now use to guide our future chanichim. We learned about self-responsibility at rafsodiya, experienced self-reflection at yad vashem, and challenged our Judaism in the old city of Jerusalem.
In the process, we developed a feeling of responsibility for ourselves and each other, continuously conversing about relevant topics, and staying true to our values. Hadracha utilizes all of these things in order to facilitate the growth of others. It’s offering direction without stating a destination. It’s making sure that others don’t get lost, but teaching them how to use the compass. Offering a space for chanichim to question and challenge themselves without forcing a specific goal. Hadracha means making sacrifices, actualizing our values, and being a positive force in the growth of others as people. To be honest, the concept of hadracha still holds a complexity that cannot be understood until experienced, but with the experiences we have, we both are excited to return to galil for madatz 2020 and forward. Taking hadracha, such a relative term and defining what it means to us.
The journey of defining hadracha is a long one that contains many different chapters, each with its own theme and unique purpose.Every experience and lesson that we went through has added to our hadracha resume, which has affected us from our very first days of camp continuing now, and will last our entire lives, as we continue the lifelong mission of becoming madrichim.
And now in the land of Nitzanimot (2nd & 3rd graders)…
It’s been a great and empowering day! The Nitzanimot started off their morning staging a protest to earn the same rights and access to our swimming pool as the rest of the machaneh! From there they splashed around in the fruits of their advocacy & labor. Their afternoon involved a lot of singing, pizza, challah braiding, and bench painting, before getting all cleaned up and ready for shabbat!
Wishing you all a beautiful shabbat,
Gali the Sheep
Ps. How does a sheep apologize? They explain they’re wooly sorry!