Machon Alte, the venerated Baalos Teshuvas Yeshiva in Tsfas, is many things to many people.
On Purim, for the first time ever, the 33-year-old home away from home to thousands of spirited alumni, became a new party destination for them, their husbands and their friends.
Directors Rabbi Yosef and Rochel Leah Rosenfeld for years hosted the festive Purim meal and fabrengen in their beautiful Tzfas home, inviting alumni, their families and friends.
But on Sunday afternoon, they turned the yeshiva’s Alice Dayan Simcha Hall in the heart of Tzfas into a Purim banquet hall and feast fit for a King.
About 200 massed to the party, exceeding the expectations of the organizers. Among the attractions were a spectacular carnival followed by a Tzivos Hashem rally with psukim, games, stories, and play and creativity stations for over 100 children of all ages who made the event a true Purim fest.
Rabbi Rosenfeld roused the crowd with a sicha from the Rebbe answering the question as to why the Megillah includes details at its beginning and end about the 127 provinces of the Persian empire, geographical minutiae that do not appear at first glance to be essential to the heart of the Purim miracle.
The answer? Because the light and revelation of Purim needed to be spread and grounded in earthly reality, mirroring an important Chasidic theme about the Jew’s mission to make a dwelling place on earth for Hashem’s ultimate self revelation.
“Are you having fun?” a joyous Mrs. Rosenfeld whispered to one of the guests in the middle of a wild circle dance as she ran into the kitchen to load up another tray of the delicious food for the aprpeciative crowd.
“The most fun I’ve had on Purim in a long time,” came the answer. “What a great showing.”