Bein HaZmanim (break period) assumed a different meaning for the Lubavitch bochurim returning from various Yeshivos to their homes in Albany, NY.
“They were not on vacation, as they did anything but rest,” noted Shliach Rabbi Yisroel Rubin who mobilized them to assist in Chabad House activities.
From distributing hundreds of Matzos to area residents and arranging public Seders, to organizing Tzivos Hashem rallies and activities, they inspired many Albanians with a Chassidic Yomtov spirit.
The bochurim also went on a Tahalucha walk to various Shuls and senior homes to bring Simchas Yomtov, some walking as far as 5 miles away.
On their own initiative, the bochurim arranged a Mini-Yeshiva that included a “chavrusa” program for area Jews. Kinusei Torah were held daily, starting from before Pesach until after Isru Chag.
As alumni of “Yeshivas Rambam,” directed by Rabbi Rubin, the bochurim also compiled a “Kovetz Kel-Bnay” Torah Journal in honor of Pesach.
The 4th issue, this Kovetz (a “play on words” of the Seder’s Piyut that sounds like “Albany”) includes a variety of essays by the bochurim, as well as local Rabbonim and community laymen.
In addition to the Hebrew section, there is also an English part for the benefit of the local community.
The journal discovers Parper’aos L’Chochma, a book by Rabbi Shlomo Sadowsky OBM (1880-1946) – of the original students in Zhembin and the Lubavitch village in Russia, under the guidance of the Rebbes Rashab and Rayatz.
He also taught in the Lubavitch Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim and then served as a Rov and spiritual leader in Albany exactly 100 years ago.