The 2nd Night of Shavuos, after having stayed up all night the night before, we have a Steak BBQ. For guys, that’s really all the Seuda needs. We make Kiddush, Hamotzi and eat BBQ. There’s lots of singing, Divrei Torah, and eating steak. Shavuos has many memorable Doresh traditions, like all of the Siyumim made at 4:30 AM. and the Ne’ilas HaChag Banquet in the Dark, but the BBQ is always talked about.
Awards at the End of Each Zman
At the end of each Zman, Ms. Oullete Trueba gives out an award to each person. She is very creative in inventing an individualized award for each person, both students and even staff. It makes each person feel recognized, validated, and important and it teaches each person to think about how to find the positive in every person.
Burying a Turkey
This tradition goes many years back to a camping trip when Doresh was stuck on an island and had to be brought back by the Coast Guard. But they had buried a frozen turkey in the sand when they first got to the island, so that was the food that they ate. So every time the Yeshiva goes camping, they bring a frozen turkey (or a few) and bury it in the sand and then BBQ it on the 2nd night.
Friday Night Seuda
Each week the whole Yeshiva eats at the Rosh Yeshiva’s house. The meal is not like anything you are used to. The table is set with cloth tablecloths, cloth napkins, napkin rings, stemmed glasses, glass plates, etc. It looks like a Sheva Brachos. There is a group of guys who go over to his house each week on Wednesday morning to set the table. So preparing for Shabbos begins on Wednesday. The food is amazing and there is singing, Divrei Torah and dancing before the main course. It is run almost like a Chassidishe Tish. Almost every week is another guy’s birthday, so there is usually a beautiful Happy Birthday cake party at the end.
Every night, even at the Rabbi’s house, at the end of the night, every person has to announce a Thank You to someone for something that he/she did for him that day. Maariv won’t start until every person has done a Shout Out to someone.
First Night Selichos
Everyone looks forward to the 1st Night of Selichos in Doresh. First, there is a Melava Malka with great food. Then there is usually a very interesting speaker or movie. Then there is Night Swim. Then the music, sound and recording equipment is set up in the Bais Medrash, the lights are dimmed, the choir starts singing specially prepared Kumzitz songs for the introduction to Selichos and then the Night begins. There are a few guitars, keyboard, violin and always a new surprise; even the Chazzan uses a guitar. The Selichos niggunim are mixed up between slow and fast; dancing, swaying, bonding, it’s a night you remember from year to year and gets you in the mood for the Rosh Hashana that’s to come.
In many ways...
The independence that is parcel to the Doresh environment creates a lot of opportunities for fun. Allowing boys to cook, use all kinds of tools, operate heavy machinery, and to be creative, are the ingredients for a lot of fun.
Fun comes in many different sizes, shapes and colors here. With so many different guys, new ideas are always being tried. Art, music, games, ping-pong, air hockey, rope course, BBQs, technology, construction, newsletter creating, cooking, baking, swimming, trips, automotive, fishing, camping, etc. are just some of the mediums. Some people enjoy photography, studying the weather or the numerous local animals which are native to where we are (frogs, lizards, crabs, possums, etc.)