By COLlive reporter
Photos by N&M Photos
Close to 100 students of Yeshiva University spent this past Shabbos in the Crown Heights neighborhood for what has been unofficially called, the annual YU – Oholei Torah Shabbaton.
Hosting them were the bochurim of Beis Medrash Oholei Torah who visit YU on a weekly basis and study Tanya and Chassidus with fellow students on Thursday nights.
The Shabbaton began with a reception and a tour of Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway given by Rabbi Motti Seligson of Chabad.org. They visited the broadcast room from which the Rebbe’s talks were transmitted.
The students continued to the Agudas Chassidei Chabad Library in a tour guided by librarian Rabbi Meir Levine. To daven Mincha, the group was permitted to enter the Rebbe’s house on President Street accompanied by Rabbi Mendel Krinsky.
For Shabbos, the students were graciously hosted in the homes of Chabad families in Crown Heights.
They began Shabbos with a soul-stirring Seder Niggunim followed by a Mammer and a chance to learn one-on-one with a Lubavitcher bochur.
The highlight was when the entire Beis Medrash Oholei Torah and YU students made their way together to the main shul of 770 Eastern Parkway for Kabbalos Shabbas led by chazzan Menachem Feldman.
Friday night meals were held in the homes of Crown Heights families, but they later met up in the Rubashkin home for an inspiring farbrengen with the Chassidus teacher Rabbi Yossi Paltiel discussing deep concepts in a simple but meaningful way.
Chassidus in the morning was held in Oholei Torah, while Shachris was devaned in the Minyan Avrecheim followed by a short Kiddush led by Rabbi Fishel Oster, maggid shiur in Oholei Torah.
Oholei Torah led by Rabbi Joseph Rosenfeld hosted the Shabbos deal meal and farbrengen which included remarks by YU and Oholei Torah students Yaakov Faratci and Mendel Marasow.
The farbrengen itself was led by Rabbi Ephraim Mintz, Executive Director of the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) which continued until the late afternoon. They later heard from the halachic expert Rabbi Levi Garelik.
The students davened Maariv at Congregation Bais Shmuel located in the Jewish Children’s Museum, followed by Kiddush Levanah and watching the weekly segment of JEM’s Living Torah video magazine.
A Havdalah ceremony was led by Chazzan Menachem Feldman with guitarist Yossi Stern and Yossi Cohen on the flute. It then led into a remarkable singing of Anim Zemiros.
Musician Shmuly Wilchansky then started playing the keyboard and participants quickly joined in spirted dacning which continued for hours with breaks to enjoy sushi and a performance by the French Twins.
As the YU students were heading out to return to Washington Heights, they each received a pocket-size edition of “The Daily Wisdom” of the Rebbe on the Parsha.
Organizers thanked Oholei Torah and Rabbi Rosenfeld for hosting the Shabbaton, the families of Crown Heights, the Rubashkin Family, the Print House and the Shabbaton supporters.