It was a day to remember!
Following the Rebbe’s directive to organize Hakhel gatherings during Aseres Yemei Teshuvah, Beis Rivkah Montreal had an amazing Grand Hakhel Reenactment on Thursday, 4 Tishrei.
Over 500 students, from the age of 2 months – “taf” in the preschool – through Kindergarten, Elementary and High School were all gathered together with their Morahs.
The auditorium was decorated to have a resemblance to the Beis Hamikdosh. Many students were dressed “like in the times of the Beis Hamikdosh”. Each grade was assigned a costume to wear representing the concept of “Anoshim, Noshim and Taf”. There were mommies, taties, bubbies, zaidies, Sanhedrin and their wives, the Royal Family, Kohanim, Leviim, and even visitors from outside of Eretz Yisroel.
“Kohanim” blew real trumpets (“Chatzotzros”) throughout the school, to call everyone to come and gather in the “Beis Hamikdosh”. Upon everyone’s arrival, the “Leviim” sang Shira – a Hakhel song.
Rabbi Ariel Stern, Shliach in Westmount, made a grand entrance, dressed as a “king.” Wearing a royal robe, crown, and a Talis, he ascended onto the “platform.”
Rabbi Yosef Minkowitz, Dean of Beis Rivkah, shared the following experience of Hakhel by the Rebbe in the year 5748. At that time, Beis Rivkah, together with other Chabad institutions in Montreal, organized 10 busses for over 500 people who travelled to the Rebbe for a Shabbos. This never happened before or after. It brought great satisfaction to the Rebbe.
Rabbi Mendel Rosenfeld, Executive Director of Beis Rivkah, and the in-house Kohen, Bentched all the assembled with Birchas Kohanim.
For the Reenactment, a “Sefer Torah” was prepared. It consisted of Eitz Chayims and a Mantle, without a real Sefer Torah inside. This “Sefer Torah” was presented to the “King” by the “Kohen Godol”, after it was passed from the “Chazan Hakneses” to the “Rosh Hakneses” and “Sgan Kohen Godol” (as stipulated in the Rambam).
The “King” read various Pesukim from Chumash Devorim, including Shema Yisroel. He encouraged everyone to increase in Torah and Mitzvos, and make Hakhel gatherings throughout the year.
The students enthusiastically recited the 12 Pesukim. Different classes were honored to lead the recitation. The children then emotionally broke out singing “Rebbe We Need You”, and other songs.
Everyone watched videos of the Rebbe explaining Hakhel in English, and of the Rebbe turning towards all four corners of 770 during Kos Shel Brocho, in an extraordinary manner, directing the lively singing of “We Want Moshiach Now.”
The beautiful unique Kinus concluded with a Kumzits and spirited dancing.
The students received “Hakhel Buttons” and were treated to a special experience of an interactive visit in the Beis Hamikdosh, viewed on VR headsets, presented by “MikDash by TorahVR”, who came in from New York especially for this Kinus.
The unforgettable Kinus was organized by Mrs. P. Minkowitz, with support of the Beis Rivkah staff and students – in the true spirit of Hakhel.