[simage=2177,160,c,left,]On Thursday night, the entire camp, plus some visitors from the area, assembled in the camp soccer field for the Grand Staff Play!
Most plays in Gan Israel are held in the Shul, but due to the epic proportions of this one, it had to be held outdoors. The theme of the play was the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza, and the destruction of Yerushalayim. Despite the theme being rather a sad one, the amazing writers of the play were able to turn the story around and end off inspiring us to bring Moshiach with our mitzvos. Our hardworking staff spent many a sleepless night painting backdrops, building props, and stapling costumes (seriously!).
[simage=2147,160,c,right,]Among the amazing things that were made, there were two catapults, a battering ram(!), two 25 x 20 foot backdrops of Yerushalayim, a 74 x 15 foot wall of Yerushalayim, two warehouses, tents for the Roman Soldiers, a raised balcony for the host in the Bar Kamtza scene, a huge throne for Caesar, a sukkah for Simchas Beis Hashoeivah, hundreds of costumes, a huge Mizbeach, and one really long run-on sentence.
[simage=2141,160,c,left,]The props weren’t the only amazing thing in the play, the scenes and stunts were also stupendous. From Bar Kamtza being thrown off of an 8 foot balcony into a cake (no dummies or stunt doubles!), to the burning of Yerushalayim’s warehouses of food by the Biryonim, to the sheep that Caeser sent to the Beis Hamikdash, to one of the defenders of Yerushalayim trying to climb back up the wall and the rope being cut, everything was done to make the experience feel like history was replaying itself.
[simage=2146,160,c,right]As the campers watched, spellbound,the staff acted out the story of the Churban, from Simchas Beis Hashoeiva to Bar Kamtza being accidentally invited to a party, to the silence of the Chachamim and Bar Kamtza’s tattling to Caesar. From the Roman seige to the destruction, and ending off with the story of Rabbi Akiva, Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Elazar ben Azaryah and Rabbi Yehoshua seeing a fox come out of the Kodesh Hakedoshim, the staff brought out the responsibility of our generation to bring Moshiach, and that we have a koach, like Rabbi Akiva, because out of darkness, comes a greater light.