Written by Lauren Schwartz
Every summer Jewish summer camps throughout the country take part in a day of spirited competition called Maccabiah, a full-day of team competition in which campers play sports, do crafts, write songs, and cheer the loudest they will all summer.
This session, Kallah Aleph Campers and staff competed for access to a time machine. The time machine landed on the soccer field the night before Maccabiah and revealed to our campers that they would be competing to take the time machine to Atid (the future) or Avar (the past). The time machine landed in a puff of smoke (dry ice!) and our visitors introduced themselves. This week’s visiting faculty members represented each team, wearing white robes or futuristic accessories.
The rabbis in the time machine needed our help to determine whether traveling to the past or future would help them to more accurately study the strength of the Jewish people.
Both teams, blue and red, competed in soccer, gaga and the all-camp relay which we refer to as the Maccabathon. The Maccabathon ended with a camper from each team racing to the top of the tower. Each camper attached their team’s egg drop contraption to their harness and once at the top- dropped it to the ground. Luckily, both teams’ eggs survived!
The teams earned points based on ruach (spirit), Kehillah Kedosha (working together as a community), and scores from sports events.
Maccabbiah is a very special day because while it is true that we spend the day working in our teams, we acknowledge the power of working together and cheering on the opposing team. Once it was announced that Atid (the future) won at the end of the day, we came together as a Kehillah Kedosha for siyum and hugged our friends on the other team.
So what did we learn? The strength of the Jewish people might be in Atid (the future), but we couldn’t get there without Avar (the past)!