Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A sartorial scenario

Here’s an interesting dilemma:

Read and discuss.

Disclaimer: The following scenario is based on recent events here in TRLEOOB** a work of complete fiction. Any resemblance to a member of the Shiputzim family is purely intentional coincidental.

Picture this:

You’re a typical Israeli teenager about to head out on your machaneh (מחנה - literally, “camp” – refers to 2-7 days of sleeping outside in the mud*).

On one hand, you want to look good. Given your age, this means that you can only wear clothes which are “normal”. (Ed. note - If you have to ask what “normal” means, you’re clearly too old to understand.)

On the other hand, your Anglo mother insists that you only take clothes which are “suitable” for sleeping outside in relatively primitive conditions. According to your mother’s definition, “suitable” means she won’t mind if they get ruined.

If your clothes were to be represented by a Venn diagram (after all, your parents DID study new math – much to your grandparents’ consternation), the intersection of Set A (your “normal” clothes) and Set B (your “suitable” clothes) would be fairly small.

As it so happens, this year, you’ll IY”H be away for seven days – including a three-day gichah (גיחה – literally, excursion or sortie) without access to a shower. (Ed. note – Eww!)

In other words, you need to supplement the aforementioned intersection of Set A and Set B with clothes from either Set A or Set B.

What do you do?

Please leave your answers in the comment section.

Don’t forget to show your work...



*Here’s what I wrote last year when a certain Shiputzim child returned from her machaneh. (BTW, that post also includes a great idea for a one-day tiyul.)

**TRLEOOB=the real life equivalent of our blog


  1. I guess that is the difference between boys and girls. YAT would rather not take what his mother feels is a reasonable amount of changes of clothing,("I am not going to use them either way") and just fill the tik with the appropriate food/nash etc.

    We will see if IST will give me a harder time, but I think she may still be young enough to be convinced on what is accaptable.


  2. I'll leave the logic puzzle to your other commentators.

    A neighbor a block away told me of another neighbor (who happens to be incredibly wealthy) who bought all her boys a month's worth of white shirts for camp and said, don't bring them back. Now there's an interesting idea.

  3. Many many many years ago (1986) when I was living in Israel my cousin from the states came on a machaneh with me. Her mother insisted on packing an actual suitcase full of clothes. We dragged that nice expensive suitcase up and down the mountain and wore 3 t-shirts that week. When we got back the suitcase was full of bugs and we were filthy. My cousin still says that was one of the best weeks ever!!
    Answer: let her pick her clothes with a reminder that anything ruined will be worn that way, then stick a few ratty t shirts in the bag as a precaution.
    Thanks for the memory.

  4. k'ilu duh-- you take from set A. No matter what Mom says, it'll all come clean in the wash, won't it?

    (If the kids are old enough, save the resulting mess. There's a chance that at least one garment will (a) fit and (b) still be considered normal next year for machaneh.

  5. three outfits is totally enough for a week.
    Also school shirts with no monogram for 7 shek a piece... acceptable?

  6. RCT - "I am not going to use them either way"
    Well, at least he's being honest...

    Leora - Disposable clothes? That's one way to avoid the post-Nine Days laundry marathon...

    Chedva - Good answer! I like your thinking.

    Moze - Ironically, she didn't want to take her chultzat tenu'ah to the machaneh, because it's ruined from last year...

    LeahGG - Hmm. That's a tough one. 7 NIS a shirt (where does one find this?!) means that it's suitable for the machaneh. But only a teenager could tell you if such a shirt is "normal"...

  7. Try and insist on adding clothes from Set B while allowing clothes from Set A. Heavier maybe but then you'll feel better.
    Suggest the teenager phone a friend (pick a sensible one) to ask what (s)he is taking.
    Pray that whatever happens will teach her (?) a lesson. But don't be too hopeful on this one!

  8. Ilana-Davita - Thanks for all those great suggestions!
    Enjoy your vacation!

  9. My little one just left for her machaneh minutes ago. No problem with the clothes but she insisting on packing the stuff in her new weekend bag that someone got her for her bat mitzvah. It WILL get ruined, I just hope she's not to disappointed when it does.

  10. Baila - It never ceases to amaze me how Every. Single. Thing. that the kids take on the machaneh comes back covered in dirt...


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