Shabbat shalom Galil families! Today was the first Friday of the session, and as luck would have it, the weather was incredible with sunny skies and a nice breeze. Shabbat at Galil is always a magical time filled with tradition and songs that carry a special, electric energy. The day started with a breakfast of muffins and cereal, before transitioning into avodah (work) and an extra long nikayon tzrif (cabin cleaning) to prepare for Shabbat. Every Friday, the chanichimot (campers) strive for the golden broom, which is given to the cleanest tzrif (cabin) after an extremely thorough inspection. After each tzrif was cleaned with incredible diligence, each kvutzah (age group) had a peula (activity) run for them by their madatz (C.I.T.s), and they were given a chance to be more acquainted with these role models at machaneh (camp).
Soon after, everyone headed to the MiniMo (mini meeting hall) for Shabbat Shira (Shabbat songs). This time is used for chanichimot to learn new songs and compete to see who has the most ruach (spirit). One by one, whichever kvutza had the most ruach was called to lunch, which, on Fridays, is always pizza! And once all of the chanichimot got seconds on the meal, the Bogrimot (graduates), who are the oldest chanichimot at machaneh, ran Galil’s Hyde Park. Hyde Park is a tradition on Fridays where the chanichimot are given a chance to suggest new ideas to implement at machaneh. It is a vital part of the youth empowerment that we foster at machaneh and in Habonim Dror as a whole.
While the morning was zestful, the real Shabbat magic occurred in the second half of the day. Chanichimot were able to head down to the brecha (pool) for a relaxing splash in the water, and then the rest of the afternoon was spent lazily playing sports and cards, writing letters, or just lounging around before showering and putting on snazzy outfits in preparation for the day of rest and reflection. Finally, it was time for mishpachot (familes). Groups of chanichimot met in “families” to reflect on their week and share what they are looking forward to in the coming week. Then, everyone gathered to watch Kabbalat Shabbat, a performance of songs and an Israeli dance selected by the kvutzah that puts on the show. This week, it was the Shorashimot (roots)—the second youngest kvutzah.
After some more Shabbat songs and prayers, it was time for dinner! Shabbat dinner is always memorable. This week, tzevet mitbach (kitchen staff) slaved away over the grill to bring us delicious grilled chicken wings, wonderfully seasoned roasted carrots and potatoes, and, of course, the Shabbat classic, matzah ball soup. After dinner, the chanichimot changed into dancing clothes before making their way to the moadon (great hall) for some rikkud (dancing). Rikkud is sensational at Galil; all of the chanichimot love to dance late into the night and tire themselves out for the sleep-in on Shabbat mornings. Tomorrow is a day full of rest, relaxation, reflection, and rejuvenation.
Shabbat Shalom, Amos
Note from David: We’ve been very mindful of the extreme heat that we’re currently experiencing at Galil, and know that it will be even hotter this weekend before it starts to come back down. In addition to the five water bottle filling stations we have around camp, we’ve added water coolers filled with ice water around camp. We’re maximizing the amount of time spent at the pool and staying in the shade as much as possible. Additionally, the staff is reminding the campers to hydrate regularly and to refill their water bottles often.