By COLlive reporter
If any Crown Heights residents wondered who were those 52 young Lubavitch boys that spent this past Shabbos in their neighborhood, the answer is the students of Cheder Chabad in Toronto, Canada.
The students were in town for their annual trip to New York, the culmination of a 30 day project that had them keeping Sedorim times, davening and learning with care, not forgetting Chitas and Sefer Hamitzvos or Rambam, being tested on Hilchos Tefilla and the Rebbe’s Maamar Basi L’gani.
“This Mivtza is done as a preparation each year for Yud Shevat,” said the director, Rabbi Baruch Zaltzman, who accompanied the students of grades 6 to 8 with teachers Rabbi Mendy Marmulszteyn and Rabbi Yisroel Bard-Wigdor.
The boys, ages 11 through 13, began their visit in New York with davening at the Rebbe’s Ohel in Queens, after going to the Mikvah, learning Chassidus and writing a personal “Pan” letter.
They continued to Crown Heights to daven Shachris in the main shul of 770 Eastern Parkway and were welcomed at the Aguch Library by Rabbi Zalman Levin who showed them around exhibitions and artifacts from the Lubavitch Rebbes.
They also merited to receive a rare tour of the home of the Frierdiker Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn OBM, located on the second level of 770. The premises is only open a few times a year.
Hours before Shabbos, the young bochurim visited stores and shops on Kingston Avenue, getting updated on new releases by Kehot and others.
On Shabbos, staying at many gracious hosts, they ate the meal at Oholei Torah which developed into an hours long Farbrengen with bochurim Levi Zaltzman and Moshe Gotfryd.
R’ Dovid Bisk, a parent who joined the trip, shared the experiences he had on Merkos Shlichus in the Far East of Asia.
Shabbos morning, the boys sat for a shiur in Chassidus by Rabbi Sholom Baras and following davening were granted entry to the Rebbe’s room (thanks to Rabbi Sholom Ber Gansburg).
On Motzoei Shabbos, they divided into 2 groups – one going to the community gym in Oholei Torah and the other touring the Jewish Children’s Museum where they all met later for pizza and a game show by bochurim Sruli Richler and Shua Goldstein.
“They came back exhausted but inspired,” the director Rabbi Zaltzman said. “They often visit Crown Heights, but this was an opportunity to bond with their friends and teachers and experience Crown Heights in a way that is fully kodesh.”