In Cheder Ohr Menachem Crown Heights, as the Labor Day parade takes place on Eastern Parkway, the hanhallah and dedicated teachers accompany the students on a full-day trip.
“Elul, Chodesh Horachamim, the king in the field, 13 Midos Horachamim revealed, compared to Yom Kippur, a very special time,” says Menahel Rabbi Menachem Mendel Yusewitz. “Much like by any Hamshacha of Kedusha, the Klipa seems to try to taint it… in the case of the events happening in our neighborhood every year, it’s a very blatant attempt…”
Instead of taking a day off, the teachers take the boys on an educational trip, spending the day surrounded by nature from early morning until late in the afternoon when the parade and parkway have been cleaned.
“We are not ready to sustain a loss of our kinderlach’s purity, Taharas Hoeinayim and Machshava, or even to pause the very special spirit of Elul,” Rabbi Yusewitz says.
This year was no different.
Early Monday morning, the boys met and drove out towards at Kehillas ‘Chafetz Chaim’ Shul in Forest Hills, Queens. Following a shiur Chassidus from the Menahel Rabbi Mendel Yusewitz drawing lessons from Chodesh Elul and a fervent davening, there was a scrumptious breakfast waiting for the yeshiva at the Queens Mesivta YTTL.
“It was so special to be greeted warmly and excitedly by our alumni,” said Rabbi Yusewitz.
Following breakfast, after a quick Yasher Koach to the Menahel Rabbi Mendel Scharf and Hanhala Rabbi Zalman Sandhouse, the boys were off to their first trip to Croton Gorge Park in New York.
The boys enjoyed a beautiful hike in Hashem’s nature led by melamdim Rabbi Yisroel Botnick and Rabbi Chanoch Hecht. At the end of the trek, a real surprise awaited the talmidim… Rabbi Dovber Bryski awaited the talmidim with a huge “bruchim haboim!”
After witnessing a beautiful waterfall, and the climb back down the mountain, the boys headed out to apple picking.
Against the backdrop of apple orchards, boys learned some Torah and a quick game with Rabbi Zalman Goldstein of the Yeshiva Hanhala. After a wholesome lunch and hearing some background information about the orchard from Jesse, the owner of the orchard, Talmidim began their preparations for Rosh Hashana. Every talmid chose the apples which he will be dipping in honey on the night of Rosh Hashana.
After the fun of apple picking, the children headed back to the Shechuna, full of chayus and refreshed to continue the Heilige Avoda of Chodesh Elul.