Tuesday Purim Katan 5766 will be a day that no student from Beth Rivkah Ladies College in Melbourne, Australia will ever forget.
Primary students arrived in the morning dressed in many different costumes. There were plenty of mummies and babies, with baby pushers and dollies in their arms. The Leviim (Levites) were dressed in white, and carried musical instruments. There were doctors and nurses, dentists, emergency room workers, and hatzala members. Many nationalities were present as well, including Hawaiins, Asians and French people. There were flight attendants and pilots. Let’s not forget the members of the Jewish Royal Family who arrived in their majestic and princely garments.
A program of Torah, Tefilla and Tzedaka, coordinated by Bracha Kantor and Chaya Winner, began promptly at 9 am.
Secondary students arrived in their color themed outfits and joined Primary students in their classrooms. All students gave tzedaka together, and spent some time reading all about the Mitzva of Hakhel from prepared booklets. Secondary students led discussions with their Primary student partners and then together decided on a Hachlata Tova (a good resolution) that they could all take on to improve in one mitzvah.
For the second part of our program, the entire Beth Rivkah school went to the Werdiger Hall for a gathering of Tefilla, Achdut and singing. The joy and unity in the room was palpable. Over seven hundred students and staff filled the room. We watched a short clip of the Rebbe encouraging everyone to make gatherings in the Hakhel year, and we heard the Rebbe’s blessing to all those who would do so. Tehillim was recited as students davened for Hashem’s protection of our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael, and for those in need of a Refuah Shelema. Finally the ROLL CALL. Each segment of Benei Yisrael in Primary School and each Secondary School year level was asked to stand, hold up their Hachlata cards, and be counted among our nation. Every student in every year level, as well as teachers, stood tall, filled with pride and joy to be part of this wonderful school.
The feeling of simcha and Achdut was infectious as the music began to play and all joined in to sing together. Older and younger students took to the aisles and began to hold hands and dance. The songs “Mitzva gedola lihiyot besimcha tamid”, “Hinei Ma Tov Uma Na’im”, and “Yesh Tikva im Nashir Kulanu Yachad” inspired us all as we joined together with a wonderful feeling of friendship and unity.
May the merit of this Hakhel gathering bring blessings upon all those who took part, and may we be zoche(merit) to see the Geulah Shelema with Moshiach very soon, where we will be able to gather and perform the Mitzva of Hakhel together in the third Beit Hamikdash.