By COLlive reporter
Photos by AM Eichenblatt
In honor of the Rebbe’s birthday, hundreds of men, women and children gathered on the major thoroughfare of La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles to send off the Annual Yud Aleph Mitzvah Tank Parade.
A police escort with over a dozen motorcycles and Tank Number One –a 24 ft. truck with a giant picture of the Rebbe smiling– was followed by 11 tanks.
They were accompanied by 225 children who departed concurrently to spread out to 7 neighborhoods within Los Angeles County. Their mission: Distribute Shmurah Matzah to the city’s Jews and present educational publications about Passover and Torah.
Prior to the parade, a special children’s rally was held in the main auditorium of Cheder Menachem. A video with the “Rebbe’s Gift,” announcing close to 300,000 Mishnayos and Tanya that was learned by children around the globe, was shown at the rally.
The Twelve Pesukim were recited by students of Cheder Menachem, Bais Chaya Mushka, and other Lubavitcher schools of Los Angeles. A beautiful story was told by Rabbi Zalman Hecht of Bais Bezalel.
Rabbi Mendel Duchman, founder and director of the Rebbe’s Diamond Daveners and coordinator of the parade, served as emcee.
He asked the children to say the verses with increased enthusiasm for all those who need a Refuah Shlaima. The rally was also dedicated in the merit that Sholom Mordechai Halevi ben Rivka.
Following the rally, the entire crowd poured out to La Cienega Blvd to send off the troops to their mission of bringing goodness and kindness to the Los Angeles community at large.
Later in the day, a member of Anash headed to the Los Angeles Wilshire Police Station to get his children’s car seats installed properly after his Chometz car wash.
The Jewish officer installing them told him he was driving one of the police motorcycles helping to escort the parade that morning. He told said he was very impressed by the behavior of all the children and teens.
“I’ve led many parades in my career, but this morning’s one inspired me like no other, the rabbis and children were so uplifting with their song and dance, and were so eager to get out there to spread their message of freedom.”
The officer then proceeded with questions about Judaism and Pesach and was invited to attend a Seder.
This year, for the very first time, the parade had a Mitzvah tank manned by the Ezras Noshim -girls division of Kol Yakov Yehudah, under the Auspices of Cong. Levi Yitzchok of Hancock Park.
A special thank you goes out to Rabbi Mendel Greenbaum, Principal of Cheder Menachem, and Rabbi Sholom Heidingsfeld, coordinator of Tzivos Hashem.
Kol Yakov Yehuda and Mitzvah Tank Office of Los Angeles would like to thank this year’s Bochurim Memunim’ Hatmimim, Mendel Wolowik and Mendel Thaler who worked deliberately to make this parade a success.