By COLlive reporter
About 70 years ago, the Rebbe established the Mesibos Shabbos program to enrich the lives and knowledge of non affiliated young Jewish children during Shabbos afternoons.
This past week, a group of 40 Lubavitch bochurim decided that such an activity was also befitting Crown Heights’ children and have taken on themselves to revive the tradition.
The result: Approximately 400 boys attended such a gathering held in 25 separate locations around the Brooklyn neighborhood where the Rebbe lived and led Chabad-Lubavitch and its outreach activities.
All Chabad boys schools in the New York area – including United Lubavitch Yeshiva Ocean Parkway, Cheder at the Ohel and the Morristown Cheder – gave their blessings and encouraged their students from grades 2 to 6 to attend.
The 45 minute program is packed to the last minute, starting with the 12 Pesukim, continuing with Chabad niggunim and a Dvar Torah and finally, a story the children anxiously wait for. An active game and refreshments are included.
Serving as counselors are bochurim from various Chabad yeshivos who volunteer their time to prepare and run each of the Mesibos Shabbos programs.
“Mesibos Shabbos has many functions, one of the primary purposes being Achdus,” says Yossi Blau, one of the organizers.
“The positive outcome of children brought up with Achdus is tremendous. We therefore make it our priority, putting a very strong emphasis on Ahavas Yisrael and Achdus in our curriculum.”
Not that the boys need motivation to attend, but to make the program more exciting, a raffle will be drawn after each Shabbos for the boys that participated (a raffle for each group).
And those who attend 6 programs are qualified to join a Chinese Auction that will be held after Parshas Shelach.
On Thursday, a group of the counselors met up in Getzel’s Shul in Crown Heights for a farbrengen in preparation for week two of Mesibos Shabbos. Inspiring them in their work was Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum of Tzivos Hashem International.
This coming Shabbos, Parshas Tazria-Metzora, the plan is to host between 600 to 800 children, COLlive.com was told.
Whoever said Shabbos afternoon is only for resting?