By Tzvi Hershkowitz – Bill 613
Chayolei Tzivos Hashem is the program designed to make Lubavitch children proud of who they are, appreciate what they do, and inspire them to do more. It is in place in many Lubavitch schools throughout the world, including the online school where hundreds of children in remote locations around the globe study Torah over the internet.
The Rebbe took great pleasure in the study of “Mishnayos Baal Peh” and in honor of the Rebbe’s 113th birthday, Chayolei Tzivos Hashem International decided to give the Rebbe a worldwide gift with children learning thousands of lines by heart.
Approaching Yud alef Nissan, the lines were counted and it was discovered that a total of 292,400 lines of Mishnayos and 342,506 lines of Tanya had been studied by heart worldwide. The school leading the entire world in most lines of Mishnayos studied was Montreal’s Lubavitch Yeshiva with 63,846 lines! Another 12,516 lines of Tanya had been learned, and many lines of the Talmud and Yedios Klolis (general knowledge).
The program ran between the 10th of Shevat and the 11th of Nissan, and were tested by Yeshiva Bochurim from the “Zal” in their spare time. The testers were given a set of Shnayim Mikra V’Echad Targum each.
“The Chayus and enthusiasm was amazing, watching the boys line up eagerly waiting to get tested,” said Rabbi Shmuel Vaisfiche, who coordinated the program at the Yeshiva.
This past Sunday, parents, grandparents and students gathered in the Yeshiva auditorium for the presentation of the Sefarim to those who had studied Mishnayos Baal Peh. The first prize went to Velvel Reikhtman, who had studied five of the six Sedorim of Mishnayos and 12 chapters of Tanya by heart. He received a 55 volume set of Toras Menachem.
Reikhtman had learned more Mishnayos by heart than any other student in the Chayolei Tzivos Hashem program worldwide! He was selected by Tzivos Hashem International to travel to New York as the representative of all the Tzivos Hashem boys in the world to present the gift at a massive rally outside 770 for the Rebbe’s birthday. “During his testing, he sometimes even corrected his tester on words or details that had been overlooked,” marveled Rabbi Vaisfiche.
Reikhtman told bill613.com that he doesn’t possess a photographic memory but he works hard to learn the Mishnayos Baal Peh and has trained himself in certain methods that make it easier for him to memorize the lines.
The second prize went to Reikhtman’s younger brother Aryeh Leib who had learned most of Seder Moed by heart. Rabbi Moshe Reikhtman, father of the top two winners and director of the Chabad Russian Youth Centre, was proud of his boys. “The fact that there is a Baal Peh program motivates the boys to review even more by heart,” he said. “It helps them in their other learning too, such as Halacha and Gemara. Learning Mishnayos also connects them to learning about Geulah and Moshiach as the Rebbe had requested, since many Masechtas discuss the laws of the Beis Hamikdash.”
During the awarding of the prizes, the winners of the annual Chidon Pirkei Avos were also announced.
Every student was called up and received Sefarim for the amount of lines they had studied by heart.
The event was sponsored in part by several Yeshiva parents and friends of the Yeshiva, and the children finished the school year with lots of knowledge on the tips of the tongues.