By COLlive reporter
Photos by N&M Photos
The Global Yarchei Kallah, an annual summit which brings together leading Chabad rabbis, Roshei Yeshiva and Mashpiim, has concluded on Motzoei Shabbos with a festive Maleva Malka evening.
With the respected Torah scholars sitting on the dais, the crowd was filled with chassidim of all ages who spent the Shabbos at their bungalows in New York’s Catskill Mountains.
Joining them were also a group of camps and staff of Camp Gan Israel of Parksville, where the event has been held since its founding in 5734 with the blessing and appreciation of the Rebbe.
Yarchei Kallah is held in conjunction with the 20th of Av, the yartzeit of Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Schneerson, the gaon and kabbalist who fearlessly led Jewish life in Yekaterinoslav under the Communist regime.
The Rebbe once noted that this event –solely dedicated to learning Torah– was his opportunity to honor his father’s memory, as the Zohar says is an obligation even after one’s passing from this world.
The late hour at which the Melava Malka begins is a remembrance of when the Rebbe would encourage chassidim to participate, either from the Catskills area or to make the trip from Crown Heights.
Emceeing the evening was Rabbi Zalman Wilschansky, Rosh Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim in Morristown, NJ, who began with divrei Torah and described the special few days experienced by the rabbonim.
He went on to thank Rabbi Avraham Shemtov, Chairman of Agudas Chassidei Chabad International and head of the camp, for initiating and organizing for the last 41 years the gathering that was cherished by the Rebbe, not to mention its participants.
A special thanks was given to the camp’s director Rabbi Yossi Futerfas and his brother Rabbi Shlomo Futerfas, and the entire dedicated staff of the camp for their hospitality and merit for hosting the luminaries of Torah.
Yarchei Kallah is sponsored by Mr. Ronald Perelman, a person whose efforts to preserve, perpetuate, and enhance our Jewish heritage led to the Lubavitcher Rebbe recognizing him as “my partner.”
“Like a true partner, he has dedicated himself to advancing the Rebbe’s purposes, including the sponsorship of these Yarchei Kallah conventions,” Rabbi Shemtov notes.
The summit is coordinated by Rabbi Yehuda Ceitlin, a Chabad Shliach in Tucson, AZ. Helping with the organization are Yaakov Yosef Raskin, Shloimy Ceitlin, Shmaya Goodman and Moishy Kot.
Addressing the crowd were Rabbi Yoel Kahn, chief reviewer and transcriber of the discourses of the Rebbe, and Rabbi Yitzchok Yehuda Yaroslavsky, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Malachi and head of the Beis Din Rabbonei Chabad in Israel.
A guest speaker was Rabbi Gavriel Zinner, the Boro Park posek and author of the halachic series Nitei Gavriel. He praised the power of chassidus and mentioned how a Jew who has been going to an addiction rehab program has made strides only after learning Tanya on a regular basis.
Concluding the evening, and in effect the Yarchei Kallah, was Rabbi Shemtov. He said it was difficult to put into words what has transpired over the last few days and the year-round effect it will have as the Rebbe instructed the camp to have “Good results throughout the year.”