On Friday before Sukkos, a unique Grand Kinus Hakhel took place in Beis Rivkah of Montreal, for all its 500 students and teachers together, starting from 18-month-old “taf” in the pre-school, through Kindergarten, Elementary and High School.
Rabbi Yosef Minkowitz, principal, spoke to the students about Hakhel in the Beis Hamikdosh and Hakhel by the Rebbe, and the meaning of Hakhel to each and every one nowadays.
To involve the students, each grade excitedly dressed up as people at Hakhel in the Beis Hamikdosh. The auditorium was decorated to resemble the Beis Hamikdosh, with the assistance of Shlomo Lison.
The children were dressed as follows: Pre-school – yidden from all cities in Eretz Yisroel; Kindergarten – Yeshiva Bochurim; Grade 1 – Mommies who brought their babies; Grade 2 – Leviim who sang shira; Grade 3 – Zaydies; Grade 4 – Tatties; Grade 5 – Bubbies; Grade 6 – Members of the royal family; Grades 7 & 8 – Kohanim; Grade 9 – other Yidden; Grades 10 & 11 – Sanhedrin.
Kohanim blew trumpets throughout the school to call everyone to gather in the Beis Hamikdosh.
Everyone watched a video which included the Rebbe explaining how to implement the lesson of Hakhel in a practical way. Coins for Tzedoko were distributed.
Rabbi Tzvi Hershcovich made the grand entrance on a royal carpet as the “king”. A “Sefer Torah” was then passed from the Chazan Hakneses to the Rosh Hakneses who gave it to the Sgan who passed it to the Kohen Godol who presented the “Sefer Torah” to the king.
The king read a number of pesukim which were recited by the Melech at Hakhel in the Beis Hamikdosh, and encouraged the students to increase in Torah and Mitzvos. He instructed various classes to lead the recitation of the 12 pesukim, and briefly explained the connection of each possuk to the general goal of Hakhel: to have Yiras Hashem and fulfil His Mitzvos.
The Leviim led the children with singing Ato Vechartonu, which was one of the brochos said by the Melech after the reading of the Torah in the Beis Hamikdosh. This was followed by a lively original Hakhel song (the theme song of the High School GO), which led to spirited Achdus dancing. The Kinus concluded with the last of the 7 special brochos recited by the Melech: “Hashem, help Your nation Yisroel, because Your nation needs salvation”, with the immediate rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdosh, and the Rebbe at our head.
The students had a chance to kiss a real Sefer Torah on their way out of the Kinus.
This beautiful Kinus was organized by Mrs. Pessy Minkowitz, with the help of Mrs. Shoshana Scheiner, Gitty Altein, the morahs and the grade 10 and 11 High School students.