One hundred top students all set to compete in international tournament of the 613 mitzvos.
After months of learning and test-taking, the finalists have finally been chosen. Two students per grade from schools across the globe will compete against each other at the grand international chidon sefer hamitzvos, taking place in Crown Heights this Sivan.
“There is no need to elaborate on how much it means to the Rebbe that every man, woman, and child study the daily portion of Rambam,” said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’inyonei Chinuch. “Our goal with this initiative is that every child have a clear understanding of all 613 mitzvos.”
Thanks to a generous grant from the Rohr family foundation, “We are proud to have published four of the five textbooks in the Living Lessons series,” says Rabbi Yerachmiel Benjaminson, executive director of Tzivos Hashem. Diligent students will use these textbooks to study for the upcoming chidon, taking advantage of the books’ colorful images, eye-catching visual aids, and cutting-edge educational technologies.
The chidon is just one part of a larger movement to reawaken a commitment to learning Rambam. Using Tzivos Hashem’s Living Lessons materials, teachers can impart students with a thorough knowledge of all 613 mitzvos over a five-year period, from fourth through eighth grade.
“This subject is by far the most interesting one we offer,” says Rabbi Shmuel Aryeh Hackner, teacher at Lubavitch Boys School of London. “The curriculum has been able to captivate every child in the classroom—quite the accomplishment.”
Tzivos Hashem has re-instituted the Chidon Sefer Hamitzvos as a motivation for chayolim to review the information they are learning in school and commit the 613 mitzvos to memory. “In our experience, students who actively participate in the chidon retain a knowledge and appreciation for Sefer Hamitzvos even many years later,” says Rabbi Shimmy Weinbaum, director of Chayolei Tzivos Hashem.
The competition pushes even the brightest of children to go beyond their comfort zones and use the incredible abilities Hashem blessed them with. “We are looking forward to welcoming the contestants from around the world, and are planning an incredibly exciting Shabbaton for them here in Crown Heights!” says Rabbi Sholom Ber Baumgarten, chidon coordinator.
The semi-finalists will be treated to a full Chidon experience. Starting Thursday night, Yud Daled Sivan, when they take their final test to determine who will move on to the final round. The weekend’s climax is Sunday’s live game show, showcasing the talent and grit of Lubavitch’s best students.
Tzivos Hashem invites the Crown Heights community to come cheer on their soldiers, who have worked hard to reach this milestone. Participation in this momentous occasion is a way of standing behind the Rebbe’s directive, and will encourage thousands of children worldwide to learn the 613 Mitzvos every year.
Tickets to the chidon event can be bought in Judaica World, by phone—718-907-8884—or online at chidon613.com.