The community of Boston, MA, gathered for a seudah and farbrengen in honor of Yud Tes Kislev. The inspiration led to tangible results, when participants committed to further their study of Chassidus at a weekly shiur.
By Anash.org reporter
One Motzei Shabbos a few weeks ago, Rabbi Dovid Zaltzman, shliach to Watertown, MA, got together with Moshe Rosenbloom, Levi Kapilevitch and Jonathan Shapiro, director and founder of Chaverim Boston, for a small farbrengen in his home in honor of Yud Kislev. Realizing that Yud Tes Kislev was quickly approaching, they decided to take the opportunity to plan a Yud Tes Kislev event for their community.
At first, the plan was to make a small farbrengen, but Shapiro insisted that a large farbrengen should be arranged for the whole community. After a short discussion, the other agreed.
They got to work. They organized a schedule and invited the community, including the rabbonim and leaders of the local Litvish community. They collected funds and put together the amount needed for a respectable seudah and farbrengen. Jonathan Shapiro and Moshe Rosenbloom took care of planning the menu and shopping for all that was needed.
By the time Yud Tes Kislev arrived, 40 guests had signed up to attend, but as the evening went on, over 80 people participated, many of them from beyond the Chabad community.
“It was hard for me to pay attention to the speakers, because I was so busy grabbing chairs for all the people that were walking in,” said Rabbi Dovid Zaltzman, “There were many more people than we expected.”
The farbrengen took place at Chabad of Newton, which is led by shluchim Rabbi Chaim Prus and Rabbi Sholom Ber Prus. A full fleishig catered meal was masterfully prepared by Jonathan Shapiro, who arranged a proper seudah along with farbeisin, mashke and deserts.
Rabbi Dr. Binyomin Abrams served as the emcee and opened the evening with a warm welcome. Dr. Yechezkel Gutfreund conducted a siyum on Tanya, R’ Shmuel Bollen told the story of Yud Tes Kislev, and Rabbi Sholom Ber Prus began the new cycle of Tanya study.
Rabbi Chaim Prus and Rabbi Moshe Bleich both shared words of inspiration. Rabbi Prus discussed the change of life focus that a person acquires by learning Chassidus Chabad and encouraged the learning of Chitas and Rambam, while Rabbi Bleich spoke about his recent trip to Ukraine, where he visited kvorim of the Rebbeim.
The talks were interspersed with lively niggunim related to Yud Tes Kislev, such as Pada beShalom, Shalosh Tenuos, Kailee Atah and the Hachana Niggun, followed by Daled Bavos. At times, the energy was so intense that the crowd burst into joyous dance.
The farbrengen continued until 2:00 am, with many people taking on various hachlotos. Among them was a college student who decided to attend Yeshivacation for 2 weeks, and another member of the farbrengen was so moved that he offered to pay for his trip. A group of individuals committed to attend a new weekly shiur in Chassidus that was formed on the spot, set to take place on Wednesday nights at 9:00 pm, at the home of Rabbi Dr. Abrams, who will be giving the shiur.
“I really felt that I was participating in the Alter Rebbe’s celebration, and I am sure the others did as well,” Rabbi Shmuel Bollen, one of the anash of Boston, said. “It was an evening of sincerity and energy, it had everything one could want in a chassidishe farbrengen.”