Hundreds of guests who met the medical requirements to come for Tishrei, had all their needs cared for by Eshel Hachnosas Orchim, with most receiving accommodations at the Eshel hotel.
Every year, for the month of Tishei, thousands of guests come pouring into Crown Heights to be in the Rebbe’s Shechunah for the Yomim Tovim. Before Rosh Hashanah the streets are already filled with Bochurim pulling their suitcases, as the month progresses many girls start coming as well, and for Sukkos and Simchas Torah the families typically start arriving. This year, due to Covid-19, the number of guests has decreased dramatically. Instead of the thousands, just a few hundred arrived.
Only those that fit the requirements – set forth by the doctors, receiving the Rabbonim’s nod – who showed documents that they either had antibodies or had Covid-19 and recovered, were able to come to the Rebbe.
For those that did arrive, Eshel – Hachnosas Orchim made sure that they would have everything they needed, from sleeping to eating, and everything in between. Instead of guests having to sleep very far, most are staying across the street from 770 – in the Eshel hotel, much work has been put into raising the quality of the food, this year many local members of the community are not hosting, as they regularly would like to, so Eshel is trying its best, that the guests shouldn’t feel the hurt.
Erev Sukkos, in the Eshel hotel courtyard, a large Sukkah was built. The Sukkah was dedicated to a longtime board member of Eshel, Rabbi Mordechai Chein, a”h. Eshel’s director, Rabbi Mendy Hendel, remarked that Rabbi Chein was completely given over to the guests, even in his later years, he would do everything he was able to for the Rebbe’s guests.
In addition to the material needs for the guests, Eshel is there to provide for the spiritual needs, with having special Seder for the Bochurim to learn, preparing booklets and learning material throughout the entire month, arranging Mivtzoim, having a special English division – focused on the American Bochurim who arrive, and of course, organizing Farbrengens for the many guests.
The first night of Sukkos, a Farbrengen was held with the Mara D’Asra, Harav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, which continued into the early hours of the morning.