After a month of intensive preparation, 47 boys from grades 6-8 of Shmuel Zahavy Cheder Chabad of Toronto embarked on a journey to the Rebbe for Yud Shevat with great excitement.
After a month of serious preparation, including davening with a minyan daily, Chitas, learning a portion of Basi Legani Baal Peh, and passing a point system, 47 boys from grades 6-8 of Shmuel Zahavy Cheder Chabad of Toronto embarked on a journey to the Rebbe with great excitement.
Having traveled by bus through the night, the group with their rebbeim arrived Friday at the Rebbe’s Ohel at 5:10 am. The boys made their hachonos, wrote a pan, and went into the Ohel. After washing hands and tasting a generous amount of “Ohel Cookies”, they prepared a variety of breakfast and lunch sandwiches to take on their way. They headed to 770 to drop luggage at the JCM, with the help of Rabbi Berel Baumgarten. It was then so special to daven shachris at 770.
Following shachris the boys hopped on the subway and traveled to the tip of Manhattan – Battery Park! They walked a short distance and went through security to board a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, one of the world’s most iconic statues. The boys enjoyed the museum and learned many facts about the history of the island. Re-boarding the ferry they continued on to Ellis Island, once the busiest immigration station in the United States. Walking through the halls and rooms, one can feel the history. The boys learned about the accommodations frum Jews received while passing through Ellis Island, and much more. After completing their tour in New York Harbor, the group returned to Crown Heights to spend time on Kingston Ave.
Friday night kabbalas Shabbos in 770 was an experience; there was so much chayus and energy from all the lively niggunim. Following davening they walked to Oholei Torah for a seudas Shabbos, and were treated to a chassidishe maaseh from Rabbi Meir Shlomo Zaltzman, a Cheder Chabad Toronto alum. During the meal the boys heard two Rebbe stories from their menahel Rabbi Yisroel Bard-wigdor, involving the Rebbe and the Frierdiker Rebbe. Tired and happy, the boys walked to their host homes for the night, chaperoned by many volunteers.
Shabbos morning the boys heard a shiur Chassidus from Rabbi Marmulszteyn, then joined in chayusdike davening in the minyan in the basement of 770. The boys had their afternoon Shabbos meals by their hosts, followed by mincha at Oholei Torah. They enjoyed a quick shalosh seudos of treats while listening to Rabbi Achiezer Langsam share Rebbe stories. Then Maariv, returning to their hosts to say thank you, and packing up.
A short time after Shabbos the group rode their bus for a special trip to Laser Bounce. The boys played arcades for two hours and ate a hearty milchig Melava Malkah at Benny’s Pizza. Just after 10 pm they boarded the bus again and settled in for the overnight journey home to Toronto. They arrived in Toronto on Sunday morning and davened shachris together. It seems everyone, though exhausted, thoroughly enjoyed the experience b’ruchniyus and b’gashmius.
Thanks was given to Rabbi Marmulszteyn – grade 6 rebbe, Rabbi Blotner – grade 7 rebbe, and Rabbi Bard-wigdor – menahel for chaperoning this trip. Thanks were also given to all the guest speakers mentioned above, Rabbi Heshel Meilach Rosenfeld of Oholei Torah, and Rabbi Berel Baumgarten of the JCM for making this trip a success. As well as to Mr. and Mrs. Oren Antebi, for so generously sponsoring this year’s Yud Shevat visit to the Rebbe.