Machon Medurah: Mine, Yours, and the Fire’s
Machon loves campfires. The medurah (campfire) is a safe and sacred space in which the group can come together intimately to share, sing, learn, and grow, and we took advantage of this opportunity just last night. Around our medurah, which is beautifully tucked away in the seclusion of a clearing in the woods, we opened up to each other in a program called "sheli, shelcha, v'shel eish" (Mine, Yours, and the Fire's). In the crackling and sizzling of the wet wood, each hanich (camper) listened for the sound of their greatest struggle right now — be it a recent challenge at camp or a life-long character struggle — and wrote it down on one strip of paper. Next, each hanich listened in the crackling of the fire for the sound of something inspiring about the person sitting to their left and wrote that down on a second slip of paper. On a third slip of paper, each hanich wrote down a goal of theirs that they hope to accomplish this summer at camp.
After collecting our thoughts with only the sounds of the fire in our ears, a number of hanichim stood up in turn to read off their struggle, walked to the center of the circle, and cast that struggle into the fire. These struggles no longer belong to us: they belong to the fire. "Shel eish." Next, we all passed the second piece of paper to the person on our left. These also do not belong to us — the inspiration we take from the person next to us belongs to our friend. "Shelcha." And lastly, we all stood up to share with pride our goal for the summer, and then stowed that slip of paper in our pocket. These goals DO belong to us and we need to keep them close. "Sheli."
As we all embark on a journey here at camp, this is the recipe for success. We cast off the burdens of our struggles, we support each other and rely on that support, and we keep our goals clear and close. "Sheli, shelcha, shel eish." May we all in Machon support each other to see our goals through.