Shabbos began with a bang Friday night as David Block, who was visiting, davened Kaballas Shabbos and gave the speech before Maariv. After the Friday night meal, which included lots of good shtik, the Fried family hosted an Oneg filled with singing, Divrei Torah, and great snacks. After that Oneg, there was a surprise Oneg in the dorms led by Meir Preis which included even more delicious food, including deli roll and potato kugel, and there was singing late into the night.
After an inspiring davening and another fun shtik filled Shabbos day meal, we had much needed Shabbos afternoon rest. We davened Mincha and then Rabbi Fried and Rabbi Green gave important speeches about the importance of learning. We then headed to the Dining Room for shaleshudes and pre-fast meal time. We ate and ate in order to be ready for the fast of Tisha B’Av, which actually fell on Shabbos this year, but because of the importance of Shabbos was pushed off until Saturday night/Sunday. The fast began while it was still Shabbos and it was an incredibly serious atmoshphere for our final ebbing and the saddest day in the Jewish calendar, Tisha B’Av. We talked about the meaning of Shabbos and Tisha B’Av while singing inspiring songs to get us in the right mindset.
We then went to the Shul, removed our leather shoes, sat on the floor as we davened Maariv and read Megillat Eichah. Rabbi Green spoke about what the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash has to do with us and we tried to feel the pain and suffering which has been with our ancestors for generations. After we finished Kinnos and Maariv, Rabbi Cooper gave a shiur pointing out the curses in the Torah and showing us the terrible things that G-d told us would happen when we stray from Him.
The next morning, we began the Tisha B’Av service at 9AM. Rabbi Green, Rabbi Cooper, Rabbi Fried, Rabbi Wex, Rabbi Paretzky, Rabbi Wiener, Rabbi Yaemans, Meir Preis, Dovid Kimche, and David Block gave inspiring insights into the particular Kinnos which we said and there was much to be gained by all. The afternoon was reserved for taking it easy and not doing too much strenuous activity on this hot, fast day. At 6PM we watched some inspiring videos to get a better understanding of what the day of Tisha B’Av is all about and we heard an inspiring story on the power of starting something and doing small pieces of it daily. After the fast ended at 9:07, we heard Havdalah and headed to the Dining Room to eat for the first time all day. The camp got everyone Dunkin Donuts as well, and the light were turned on in the basketball courts and sports fields for some late night balling. It was a draining, inspiring weekend, and we look forward to an exciting, fun final week of camp.