Friday, August 12, 2005

Tisha B'Av

I spent years at Camp Ramah in California. Untold hours roaming the hills of Ojai and living and sharing an incredible experience as part of a Jewish community. It was fabulous and I have many special memories.

And I have many memories regarding Tisha B'Av at camp. But one thing sticks out among all of them. It was a guarantee that the hottest day of summer each year would fall on Tisha B'Av. The day would come and without fail there would be a blue, cloudless sky from which the sun would beat down upon us.

There were a couple of times in which campers burst into flames. They would be walking across the hill and bam! Flames would come shooting right out of their heads. It was not a pleasant sight.

Ok, I am exaggerating, but it was always really hot or as my 4 year-old says really, really, really hot to the moon and the sun.

My campers used to ask if part of the point of the chag was to suffer, it was that hot. But I always managed to find a lot of meaning in it.

One other quick memory to share. When I was a camper we used to have one of the worst meals I can think of to break the fast. It was a tuna casserole, but there was always something foul about it. It never smelled right to me, there was always something not quite right.

So we learned to prepare a post fast meal that we could rely upon. It wasn't incredibly healthy, but it was good. Chips, salsa, chocolate, coke, cookies, licorice and assorted odds and ends.

Sometimes I miss those days.


callieischatty said...

sounds great!
please come help us with this guy ok?

Maya Resnikoff said...

THe tradition continues, at least as far as break-fast meals go: I was at Camp Ramah in Ojai earlier this summer for their Lishma program, which overlapped the previous minor fast, and the breakfast meal was something that my colleagues nicknamed "Gefilte loaf"- meat loaf with tons of carrot that tasted, apparently, like gefilte fish. Also problematic for those who don't eat meat during the 3 weeks. I see the campers have their ways around this issue.

PsychoToddler said...

My most meaningful Tisha Beav was spent at the Western Wall when I was a 14 year old camper at Camp Sdei Chemed. All those circles of people gathered on the ground around candles saying "Lamentations" and honestly crying. It's never meant more to me.