Moishy Gurari of Buffalo NY writes of his first reaction when hearing of a new Chassidus program for bochurim who had never studied Chassidus before, and why that quickly changed.
By Moishy Gurari of Buffalo NY
We were very skeptical at first when we, a couple of 770 Bachurim, got the offer to join Maayan Menachem. Such a program never existed before, and we didn’t think bochurim with no background of learning Chassidus would be interested in spending their bein hazmanim doing exactly that. We finally agreed to give it a try, and I’m really glad we did!
The first night of our arrival was spent Farbrenging with the boys. Their level of interest and involvement was astounding. We set up chavrusahs to learn Nigleh and Chassidus, and got to work.
Camp was in Ellenville NY that summer, and that Friday we got addresses of the Yidden in the area, and set out with the bochurim for mivtzoim. It was both amusing and inspiring to see bochurim going on mivtzoim for the first time in their life.
For Chof Av, we decided we’ll go ahead and do things the way they are done back home. For seder Chassidus that day, we learned a hadran that the Rebbe said on Chof Av 5731. That night we watched the farbrengen together. It was an unbelievable experience to see all of these bochurim hooked on the Rebbe’s farbrengen, their first time watching one.
Later that night we spoke with the bochurim about visiting the Rebbe’s Ohel for Chof Av, and they insisted on coming along. We set out two hours later, and as it was the first time they were at the Ohel, spent the drive farbrenging on the topic. It’s a tremendous zchus and an unforgettable experience to bring Yidden to the Rebbe. And I keep up with my camp friends till today.
The tzeischem l’shalom farbrengen with Rabbi Zalman Leib Markowitz on the last day, again at the Rebbe’s Ohel, was very powerful, with each of the bochurim receiving the first 4 volumes of Likutei Sichos as a memento.
Maayan Menachem has since seen unprecedented growth, and you too are invited to take part in this amazing hafatzas hamayanos opportunity.