As we bring out the winter gear and brace ourselves for the cold months ahead, Bais Rivkah students are keeping warm by learning the Rebbe’s sichos as part of the Likkutei Sichos Chidon.
You’d think the excitement of the last period bell is because the learning day is over, but if you follow the hubbub of activity on a Thursday at 4:40 in Bais Rivkah High School, you’d fix that misconception. Streams of girls are piling into the lunchroom to join the many chavrusos who are already ardently poring over the new Selection from Likkutei Sichos- Shmos.
The momentum is tangible. The energy is alive.
You can feel the fire.
Aside from the scrumptious cinnamon buns and hot beverages which are this week’s learning accompaniment, the girls are on fire with something more. They are channeling their abilities and investing their time in learning the Rebbe’s Torah.
The Chidon Limmud Toraso, a chidon which encourages learning the Rebbe’s sichos, was started in honor of Rabbi Yonah Avtzon, the founder of Sichos in English. Rabbi Avtzon dedicated his life to spreading the teachings of Chassidus and making them accessible to all. Bais Rivkah has initiated a chidon to help further Rabbi Avtzon’s vision.
Joining the Chidon is quite the commitment, but if you speak to the students, it’s apparent that the benefits make it almost easy to take the plunge.
Over a span of five weeks, the girls learn two pre-selected sichos weekly, covering ten Sichos total. It’s a tall order, but they are not left to accomplish this alone. Each week there are various programs such as a sichos crash course with Rabbi Shmuly Avtzon of SIE and chavrusa learning with tasty treats. The culmination of the studying is the grand Chidon Limmud Toraso game show, which is two short weeks away, will iyh take place Tuesday, Chof Beis Kislev. This will be followed by a grand event and farbrengen celebrating the accomplishments of each Chidon participant.
What’s unique about this Chidon is the passion. Across the board, every participant is fueled with drive. It’s not the competition that is propelling them forward. It’s the genuine desire to learn the Rebbe’s Torah and glean insight into the Rebbe’s perspective.
“I have gained an appreciation for learning the Rebbe’s Torah on my own. It’s more than just doing it because I have to do it for school. Every Sicha I learn adds depth to my fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvos,” shares Faygie Bendet, an 11th grade Chidon participant.
The Chidon creates an opportunity for girls to join together, explore the Rebbe’s outlook and adapt the Rebbe’s perspective. It allows girls to mull over concepts until they are internalized. As Miriam Gansburg of the ninth grade reflects, “When elections were happening this year, I was able to feel calm because we learned a lot about Bitachon in the Chidon Sichos.”
The Chidon’s success is evident and it’s not only because the participants are nailing every test. Each student who has joined is part of a transformational learning experience empowering each participant to inculcate the Rebbe’s lessons into her daily life.
If you see a Bais Rivkah girl on fire holding the Shmos volume she was gifted, ask her to share what she has learned.
Chances are you will be on fire, too.
Join the excitement and feel the warmth by partnering with Chidon Limmud Toraso. Your contribution will enhance and further the Chidon programming.