It wouldn’t be Yud Alef Nissan without the iconic annual Mitzvah Tank Parade offering thousands of Jews the opportunity to lay teffilin, receive shmurah matzah and connect with their Yiddishkeit. Crown Heights boys can now sign up to join.
This year, in honor of the Rebbe’s 117th birthday, the Mitzvah Tank division of Lubavitch Youth Organization (Tzeirei Agudas Chabad), headed by Rabbis Mordy Hirsch and Moishy Schmukler, is organizing a parade of forty-five tanks to drive from 770 to Manhattan, where participants will do mivtzoyim on the street corners.
The number forty-five isn’t random. Organizers explain that it corresponds to the number of years since the Rebbe founded the concept of “tanks against assimilation,” as he once referred to them.
As with every year, children in fourth through eighth grade are invited to group with their friends and join the parade. Each tank is staffed by a group of five bochrim and includes five children. In a conversation with Anash.org, organizers stressed the value of children being exposed to this concept, “It’s an experience that will encourage them to do mivtzoyim when they’re older too.” The children greatly enjoy the trip, and, they say, no one can resist a charming young child who sincerely offers them an opportunity for a mitzvah.
The parade will be taking place this coming Tuesday, Yud Alef Nissan, April 16, and will begin on the corner of Kingston Avenue and President Street. The tanks will pass the Tzivos Hashem rally in front of 770 at 10:30 a.m., and be back in time for Mincha. Lunch and snacks will be provided.
Parents can sign up their boys at tankist.tankparade.org.
The Mitzvah Tank office can be reached at 718-804-0077 ext. 135 or firstname.lastname@example.org