Today was no normal day at Camp Sports. Usually we spend the majority of the day playing intense sports or going on exciting trips, but today was different. Today was Shiva Asar B’tamuz. In the morning we had our second learning group followed by a learn-a-thon Seder for anybody who wanted to learn more (shout out to Ariel Adler, the best chavrusa ever!). The rest of the afternoon was spent doing optional learning in the Beis Medrash or resting, today being the longest fast of the year. Before Mincha, we heard a wonderful shuir from Rabbi Twersky, followed by an inspirational documentary on the spiritual power of the Jews through the Holocaust. After Mincha, we played a game in which we divided up in teams and decided which values are important in our Jewish lives. We davened Maariv with Eretz Yisrael in mind, and ran to the dining room to break our fast with fresh bagels and later Dunkin’ Donuts were brought to the dorms! I am happy to say that today was the most spiritual uplifting Shiva Asar Bitamuz I’ve ever experienced.
-Akiva Finkelstein, Memphis, Tennessee