Welcome Through The Shabbat Gates

During staff training week, our Tzevet (staff) and our Madrichim (counselors) had a unique and creative opportunity, to participate in painting new Shabbat Gates.  These beautiful gates have been set up right outside the Chadar Ochel (dining hall) and each Friday morning as the Chanichim (campers) approach the Chadar Ochel (dining room) they walk through these gates and Shabbat can be felt in the air.  This was a special morning in Machaneh Ramah as it is the first Shabbat of Machzor Sheini (second session). The Chanichim passed through the gates and were welcomed to Aruchat Boker (breakfast) with warm Shabbat Shalom greetings. Everyone knows that Friday is a special day at Machaneh Ramah as Shabbat can be felt in every corner of the camp, whether it’s baking Challot in Chugim (activities), practicing for the Kabbalat Shabbat (welcoming Shabbat) program, or simply the smell of chicken soup and Shabbat brownies wafting from the Mitbach (kitchen). Shabbat Shalom from Machaneh Ramah!

 A little history on the design and creation of the new Shabbat gates.

The gates were designed by artist Tova Speter after a phone call with Adat Ha-Nivonim Chanichim who shared ideas about what the imagery should include.  The “Tov li” side of the gate features music notes and organic swirls, with overlapping hands on the posts (each hand may have an edah name).  This side of the gate represents the dynamic flow of camp in the present day.  The Jerusalem side of the gate features the skyline (connecting this gate with the old city gates), pomegranates (which are in season during the summer months of camp) and Hamsas on the posts (complementing the hands on the other side). It also has a blue wave on top and bottom representing the flag and connecting visually to that element from the other side). Shabbat Shalom is written in the lettering style of the old gate as a way to connect back to that one.  Over 100 staff contributed their unique patterns to the blue waves on each aide as well as adding detail and color throughout all of the sections.
* This blog was co-written with Machzor Rishon (first session) blogger Miriam Benson.

Categories: Shabbat, Tzad Aleph, Tzad Bet